HomePersonal InjuryWhat Constitutes Negligence?

What Constitutes Negligence?

In any type of personal injury claim—whether it stems from an auto accident, a slip and fall, a maritime accident, a dangerous or harmful product, or any other situation in which an injury is sustained—your ability to collect compensation to cover your medical bills, costs of repairing damaged property, and any other losses you suffer rests on your ability to prove that you were a victim of negligence.

So what is negligence? Most simply put, negligence is a person’s failure to take proper care to act in a way that he or she is reasonably expected to. Proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit means demonstrating that certain conditions were met.

Legally proving negligence

If you are seeking compensation for an injury you believe resulted from negligent action or failure to act, you must be able to prove that the following circumstances existed in relation to your injury:

      • There was a duty to act or a duty of care. Most people assume duty of care by simply participating in society. For example, all motorists automatically assume a duty to drive safely and responsibly, property owners have a duty to make their premises safe for those who visit, product manufacturers have a duty to produce items that do not injure consumers, etc.
      • There was a breach in the duty of care. The person or company in question failed to perform their duty adequately by either acting irresponsibly (such as driving recklessly, failing to follow traffic laws, choosing to drink and drive, etc.) or by failing to act in a way that meets their duty (ignoring hazardous conditions on a property they own, using harmful materials like lead paint in a consumer product, etc.).
      • Actual and proximate cause. That the breach of duty is what caused your accident and resulting injury. For example, another driver ran a red light, crashing into your car and you suffered an injury in the collision. Or you slipped and fell, injuring yourself on a freshly-mopped floor because there was no sign indicating a wet floor.
      • Damages. You must be able to demonstrate that you suffered real and measurable damages, whether they be medical costs you incur due to your injury, destroyed or damaged property (such as your vehicle) that requires repairs or replacement, lost wages due to missed work, or even emotional trauma related to an accident.

Consult a personal injury attorney in Texas to determine if your injury resulted from negligence

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident or suffered any type of injury you believe resulted from negligence, a personal injury attorney from Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation and support you throughout the legal process. Contact us online or call (281) 645-5000 today to lean more.

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“I am a survivor of the March 23, 2005, BP explosion. Knowing my life had just been changed in an instant and not knowing what was to come was extremely unsettling. So when the time came to find legal representation, I chose Burwell Nebout personal injury attorneys from League City, Texas. Knowing they are from the Galveston County area made this an easy choice. Russ and Jimmy assured me they would do all things possible to help me and my family get through this most difficult time. Once again, I’d like to thank these men and their staff for their professional knowledge and guidance throughout those tough times. I know without a doubt I made the right choice.”

David Laymance
Santa Fe, Texas


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Friendswood, Texas


“Thank you for the excellent work performed by you and your staff in helping our company each step of the way in our pursuit of seeking reimbursement from BP due to our losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The presentation of the facts as well as the unknowns with each turn of the roller coaster has been greatly appreciated. I cannot thank you enough for the work you put into this nor credit you enough for the polish and professionalism in the way you did it.”

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Houston, Texas

Case Results

Automobile Accident

$19.2 million

Two clients killed as a result of a special defect in the shoulder of the roadway. A state court jury trial resulted in a $19.2 million verdict.

Premises Liability

$10 million

Children that attended school on a former toxic dump site made claims for exposure injuries. $10 million settlement.

Liberty County Record Verdict

Record-setting verdict

Two high school seniors were on their way home on a stretch of road that had been the subject of repeated complaints to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) about the poor condition of the shoulder. When the students entered a curve, the poor condition of the shoulder resulted in a crash that killed one and severely brain-damaged the other. A trial against the Texas Attorney General’s office resulted in the discovery of altered records, a spoliation instruction, and a record-setting jury verdict for Liberty County.

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