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State To State: How Proving Negligence For Personal Injuries Varies With Location

To receive compensation in a personal injury case, an individual must prove that negligence occurred. In most cases, negligence is established by showing that the person who caused the accident had a duty of care to the victim. Then, it must be shown that this duty was breached and that it led to damages. What are some of the different ways to prove negligence?

Contributory Versus Comparative Negligence

It is possible that both parties were responsible for the injuries that a victim suffered. For instance, if someone was hurt in a car accident, the person who caused the accident may only be deemed 20 percent liable for the crash. A jury may find that the victim was driving too fast for road conditions or was otherwise liable for 80 percent of the crash.

In a comparative negligence state, the victim in this case would receive 20 percent of his or her total award. In a contributory negligence case, the victim may be entitled to nothing if he or she is deemed to be at least 50 percent liable for the crash. Some states use a modified contributory system where a plaintiff can collect as long as he or she is less than 51 percent liable for the crash. Texas is a comparative negligence state, but the defendant must have been at least 50% at fault in order for the plaintiff to receive any compensation.

Per Se Negligence May Factor Into Cases Where Laws Are Broken

If a defendant takes an action that results in an ordinance or law being broken, the defendant may be guilty no matter what was done to remedy the situation. Essentially, the jury is instructed to act as if negligence took place even if that party’s actions weren’t deemed to be unreasonable. However, a jury may still have to determine that a victim was part of a protected class. It will also have to be determined that breaking a safety law or statute was the main cause for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Talk To A Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury attorney, like the professionals at Salerno & Associates, may be able to review a case and tell an injured victim if he or she has a chance to recover damages. If the answer is yes, legal counsel may work with that individual to either negotiate a settlement or win a favorable jury award after a formal trial.

Proving negligence is one of the most important steps in winning a personal injury case. An attorney may be able to use cell phone records, witness statements or physical evidence from an accident scene to determine if a duty of care was breached. If successful, an individual may be entitled to recoup medical expenses as well as lost wages and future earnings.

Author Bio: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +


Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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