If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you could be overwhelmed by recovering from your injuries and dealing with medical expenses. You will want to know who was responsible for your injuries and how to prove they should cover your costs.

To recover financial compensation in a Texas personal injury case, you’ll need to prove that another person was liable for your injuries. Legal liability in a personal injury case can be proven using different factors known as “elements” of negligence. In some cases, liability can also be based on an intentional act by another person. An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and determine how best to prove liability in your case.

Proving Liability in a Negligence Claim

Proving Liability in a Negligence Claim

The first and most common cause of liability in a personal injury case is negligence.

To prove negligence, a plaintiff must show four required elements:

  • Duty of care. This refers to the responsibility a person has to look out for the safety of others. A motorist, for example, has a duty of care to follow traffic rules and drive safely to avoid causing a crash. A store owner has a duty of care to keep their store clean and free of hazards that can cause injuries to customers.
  • Breach of duty. If someone fails to follow their duty of care to others, they’ve breached their duty. Generally, this means a person did not use the reasonable care and caution that a person should have used under the circumstances. A driver that runs a red light, for example, breached their duty to stop at the traffic signal.
  • Causation. Causation in a personal injury case refers to the link between a defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries. If a store owner fails to clean up broken glass that they knew was on the floor, and a person steps on the glass and is injured, causation can be shown between the two events. In a multi-vehicle accident, on the other hand, the actions of some other driver might have been the root cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • Damages. Damages are the financial, physical, and emotional costs from an accident. This can include medical bills, therapy costs, property repairs, lost wages, and other tangible costs. They can also include pain and suffering and other types of lasting emotional trauma.

Once these four elements are proven in a personal injury case, the defendant is said to be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Proving Liability in Intentional Tort Cases

Intentional acts that cause injury are known as “intentional torts” under the law. While these acts can also have criminal consequences, a defendant can face civil liability as well.

Some examples of intentional torts include:

  • Fraud
  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Trespass
  • Arson
  • Murder
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Property damage

If a claimant can show that the other person committed any intentional act causing damage, that person can be held liable and financially responsible for damages.

Strict Liability

This type of liability does not require a showing of negligence, fault, or intent by another person. In a strict liability case, the injured victm only needs to prove they suffered an injury that was caused by a person or business. For example, a defective product that causes injury to consumers can lead to strict liability in a product liability case.

Common Types of Damages You Can Recover from a Liable Party

Damages in a Texas personal injury case fall into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the costs and expenses a victim suffers due to an accident.

Common types of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property repairs
  • Lost wages
  • Therapy and rehab costs
  • Prescription costs
  • Expenses for medical equipment.

All of these damages can usually be shown through receipts and invoices or other “tangible” ways of proving the costs suffered by a victim.

Non-Economic Damages

Costs that can’t easily be broken down on a spreadsheet are known as non-economic damages and are due to trauma from the accident.

Some examples of non-economic damages in a personal injury case include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

Insurance companies and attorneys have time-tested methods of determining monetary values for these types of damages. If you have suffered non-economic damages, it always helps to have an experienced lawyer with experience calculating these costs.

Shared Liability in Texas Personal Injury Cases

Texas follows a standard of modified comparative fault in personal injury cases. What this means is that a plaintiff can only recover damages if their responsibility for the accident is 50% or less. They are barred from financial compensation if they are found to be 51% or more at fault.

Further, if an accident victim was 50% or less at fault, their financial recovery is reduced in proportion to their own liability. For example, if a jury awards $100,000 to a victim who was 25% at fault for a car crash, the victim would only collect $75,000. A skilled personal injury attorney will fight hard to shift most if not all, liability to the defendant in your case.

Consult a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today

To succeed in a personal injury claim after an accident, you will need to prove the other person’s liability for your injuries. An experienced Laredo personal injury lawyer will understand what you are going through and will work hard to prove fault and recover financial compensation on your behalf.


It’s best to hire a Laredo personal injury attorney, like Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers, to get started immediately on your case. That way you can focus on recovering while we handle your legal affairs. If you have any questions about economic damages, call our office at (956) 766-4167 for a free consultation.

Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers
6557 Metro Court, Suite 1 Laredo, TX 78041
(956) 766-4167

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