What Is Personal Injury Negligence?

Negligence is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in similar circumstances.  The word “negligence” derives from the Latin term “negligentia,” which means ” to neglect.”

Elements of Negligence

The elements of a legal negligence claim are:

  1. the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;
  2. the defendant breached the duty; and
  3. the breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Duty of Ordinary Care

Both companies and people have a duty to avoid acting negligently.  Most times, the duty owed is the duty of “ordinary care.”

Put simply, the duty of ordinary care is breached when a company or person either acts carelessly, or fails to do something a reasonably careful company or person would have done.  In other words, as the Texas Supreme Court has explained:

… if a party negligently creates a situation, then it becomes his duty to do something about it to prevent injury to others if it reasonably appears or should appear to him that others in the exercise of their lawful rights may be injured thereby.

It is worth noting that, in certain circumstances, companies owe an even higher duty than the duty of ordinary care.

Morrow & Sheppard Represent Plaintiffs Who Are Victims of Negligence

In most states, a negligent company or person is liable for the damages they cause.  If you or a loved one has been hurt because a person or company was not being reasonably careful, you may be entitled to bring a personal injury negligence claim to recover damages.

Morrow & Sheppard are Houston injury lawyers who represent individuals and businesses who have been harmed by the negligence of others.  We represent seriously injured persons nationwide, with an emphasis in Texas and Louisiana.

We offer 100% free and confidential consultations to everyone.  Please contact us now to begin the process.


El Chico Corporation v. Poole, 723 S.W.2d 306 (Tex. 1987) (setting out common law negligence elements and holding bar owner had legal duty not to sell alcohol to intoxicated patron).

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