Close this search box.

Your Houston Legal Guide: Types of Negligence and How to Prove Them


Your Houston Legal Guide: Types of Negligence and How to Prove Them

Every year, around 400,000 personal injury claims get filed. These claims often involve auto accidents and work injuries. But they can also involve airplane crashes and even wrongful deaths.

If you believe you might have a strong personal injury claim in Houston, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about it. A personal injury attorney can check out your claim and let you know if they think it would hold up in court.

For this to happen, you’ll need to be able to prove negligence on someone else’s part. There are a handful of different types of negligence that’ll need to be on your radar.

Ordinary negligence is the most basic type of negligence. An example of ordinary negligence might be a driver who goes through a red light and hits another car. They could be responsible for any injuries or property damage that is done.

But this is just one of the types of negligence. Here are some of the others and what you’ll need to do to prove them.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is a step up from ordinary negligence. Gross negligence will often involve someone acting recklessly and not taking the safety of other people into account at all.

For instance, it’s one thing for a truck driver to get into a truck accident with someone else out on the road because they made an error in judgment while driving. It’s another for a truck driver to crash into someone because they knowingly took a truck with faulty brakes out onto the road.

The first example there would fall into the ordinary negligence category. But the second one would be considered gross negligence. You’re definitely going to want to file a personal injury claim in Houston if you suspect you may have been in an accident involving gross negligence.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a type of negligence where both the plaintiff and the defendant in a personal injury case shoulder some of the blame for an accident. In this instance, the plaintiff wouldn’t be allowed to collect 100% of any damages awarded if they were successful in court.

During a personal injury case that involves comparative negligence in Houston, personal injury lawyers will have to hash out what percentage of blame the plaintiff and defendant deserve. There is then a pure comparative negligence rule that’ll have an impact on the case. It’ll reduce the damages owed to a plaintiff by the percentage of blame that they accept for an accident.

If, for example, someone in a car drives onto a sidewalk and hits a pedestrian, that pedestrian might have a gross negligence claim on their hands. But if that same car hits that same pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian didn’t have the right of way, it might end up being a comparative negligence case.

The pedestrian in this scenario might have to take some of the blame for what occurred. And if they accept, say, 30% of it, it’ll reduce the damages they can collect in their case by 30%.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Modified comparative negligence is a lot like comparative negligence in many ways. But since it’s become the standard in Texas, we want to make sure you understand what it is.

Modified comparative negligence, much like regular comparative negligence, will enable you to file a personal injury claim while accepting some of the blame for an accident in Houston. But if you’re found to be more than 50% responsible for an accident, you will no longer be eligible to collect any damages.

It would be wise to speak with a personal injury lawyer if you think you might have a claim that involves modified comparative negligence. It might not make sense for you to spend a lot of time filing a claim if you aren’t ultimately going to be able to collect damages.

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a type of negligence that involves a professional person failing to live up to the standard that has been established for them. This negligence will often lead to a professional person’s client suffering harm.

Doctors, lawyers, and even accountants are sometimes accused of professional negligence. Medical malpractice is one of the most common examples of it.

Personal injury cases that include professional negligence can be difficult to prove. You’ll always want to work closely with a trusted Houston personal injury lawyer on one.

Vicarious Liability Negligence

Just because a person or even a company didn’t directly do any harm to you doesn’t mean they can’t be found negligent in a personal injury case in Houston. If you were injured by someone who was carrying out orders from their manager or even their company, that manager or company could get the bulk of the blame for it.

In a case like this, vicarious liability negligence is going to come into play. It’ll hold the person or company who instructed someone to do something that hurt you responsible for their actions.

Of all the types of negligence on this list, this can be one of the hardest ones to prove in a courtroom. But a great personal injury lawyer might be able to help you create a strong enough case to do it.

Get More Information on the Various Types of Negligence

Understanding all the different types of negligence isn’t always easy. It’ll help to have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side to explain them.

Heard Merman Accident & Injury Trial Lawyers has lots of experience when it comes to personal injury cases in Houston. We can help you make a compelling case and show that someone else’s negligent actions are the reason why you deserve to collect damages.

Reach out to us today to discover more about our personal injury law firm in Houston.

Questions About This Article Or Topic?

Please Contact Us


You understand that by using the internet or this form to communicate directly or indirectly with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not use this form to provide confidential or time-sensitive information to the firm.