You suffered injuries in a car accident, and it has left you hurting physically, emotionally and financially. You believe the other driver was at fault and should be accountable for your losses. As such, you’ve filed a claim with his or her insurance provider. Unfortunately, you are getting the run-around instead of fair compensation. The sad reality of the situation is, your experience is in line with what is common in personal injury cases, and it isn’t okay.
Insurance providers will do everything in their power to pay victims of automobile accidents as little as possible. They and their clients may even try to blame victims in an effort to escape liability. Thankfully, the state has defined what negligence is in personal injury cases, which can help victims as they fight for maximum relief either through out-of-court negotiations or litigation.
The four elements of negligence
Regardless if a personal injury case goes to trial, car accident victims will be hard-pressed to achieve compensation for their losses if they are unable to establish the other party’s negligence. There are four basic elements of negligence that must exist in personal injury cases, according to the state of Texas. Those elements are:
- Breach of duty
- Injury caused by the breach of duty
To go into a little more detail, every driver has a duty to exercise caution when behind the wheel of a car. If one fails to do so, this is a breach of duty. A breach of duty may result from someone driving while:
- Under the influence of drugs
- Using a cellphone
- Otherwise distracted
If that breach of duty caused the victim to suffer harm, then he or she may seek damages. One may receive compensation for pain and suffering, current and future medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, and various other documented losses. How much you end up getting will depend on a number of factors.
Texas also has comparative negligence laws — you may have heard them called contributory negligence laws — that apply to personal injury cases. If your actions contributed to both the car accident and your injuries, you might not receive full compensation for your losses. How much you do receive may come down to the nitty-gritty details of the event.