If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s actions or inactions, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, your ability to recover will depend on whether you can prove the legal elements of your negligence claim. 

Here is what you need to know about the different legal standards and how they might impact your Fort Worth personal injury case

Ordinary Negligence 

Ordinary negligence is the standard type of negligence involved in most personal injury cases. Negligence involves four legal elements that you must be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence:

Duty of Care 

The first element is a duty of care. This is some legal duty the defendant had to prevent the injury from happening. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you would argue that the driver had a legal duty to follow the traffic rules and avoid causing a collision. 

Breach of Duty

The next element is a breach of duty. The breach of duty is something the defendant did or failed to do that violated their legal duty of care. 

For example, many car accidents are caused by negligent motorists who:

  • Speed
  • Text while driving
  • Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Follow too closely
  • Disregard traffic signs or traffic control devices
  • Fail to yield the right-of-way

Whether someone breached their duty is evaluated based on what a reasonable person would’ve done under similar circumstances.


Next, you must be able to connect the defendant’s breach of duty to the accident. The defendant’s breach of duty must be the proximate and legal cause of the accident that harmed you. 


Damages are the losses you suffered due to the accident, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life 

An experienced personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth can help find evidence of these elements and prove your case. 

Comparative Negligence

In some situations, the injured victim might be partly to blame for the accident. Texas uses a modified comparative negligence system that apportions fault between the parties. As long as the victim is not more than 50% at fault for the accident, they can still recover compensation. However, their award is reduced by their degree of fault. 

For example, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the court may determine that you are 10% at fault. You suffer $100,000 in damages. You can still seek compensation from the at-fault party because you were not more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by $10,000 or 10% in this case. 

Gross Negligence  

Texas punitive damages can be awarded in cases involving gross negligence. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the victim. 

Texas law defines “gross negligence” as an act or omission that involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the likelihood and magnitude of the potential harm to others. Additionally, the defendant actually knows the risk involved but acts with conscious indifference to the welfare, safety, or rights of others.

Vicarious Liability For Negligent Actions 

A final legal principle to understand in this context is vicarious liability, which holds employers and others accountable for the negligence of others. For example, a company may be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its employees. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case to determine all at-fault parties. 

An Experienced Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Prove Negligence

It can be difficult to prove negligence, especially when you are dealing with injuries and other frustrations stemming from an accident. An experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney can review your case and explain what type of negligence is involved. Call us today to get started with your claim.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
109 York Ave Suite #201
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 409-7000