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What Constitutes “Negligence” In a Car Accident?

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Car Accidents |

When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit, negligence is a major factor. But when you hire a car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio, how is negligence determined in your case? Because negligence is a very important factor in filing your case and winning the compensation that you deserve, you will need to work closely with a legal expert to gather evidence and prove the negligence of the other driver.

What Constitutes “Negligence” In a Car Accident?

Negligence is a failure to behave with an expected level of care in a given situation, which then contributes to circumstances that can lead to harming another individual. In a car accident, many circumstances can be related to negligence and multiple drivers can be guilty of negligence. Some of the most common examples of negligence in a car accident include:


Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated are possible contributing factors to negligence. When someone is driving under the influence, they are not using good judgment and they are breaching the agreed rules of the road. Not only is driving under the influence illegal, but it can also result in fines and major car accidents.

If intoxication is involved in your car accident case, then you will need to provide evidence, such as chemical tests. A common scenario related to DUI car accidents is when the other driver recklessly operates a vehicle while under the influence of a substance or alcohol, which causes slower reflexes and poor judgment that led to your accident. In these cases, this usually means that the intoxicated driver is liable for your injuries and damages.


When motorists are operating a vehicle, they are expected to abide by speeding laws. For example, it’s illegal to drive more than 20 miles an hour in a school zone. Driving significantly over the speed limit is a major cause of negligence-related car accidents because speeding can be directly related to causing harm to another individual. If you were injured as a motorist or a pedestrian because of speeding, then negligence is likely involved in your case.

Texting While Driving

Texas supports a “no texting while driving” law and drivers who are guilty of texting while driving who get into an accident are considered negligent. Many studies show how dangerous texting while driving is. Even looking at your screen for a few seconds can lead to accidents such as pedestrian collisions, fender benders, and running red lights. Texting while driving is an obvious breach of common road laws that will indicate the driver is liable for your injuries.

Road Laws

Negligence can also be related to a driver who fails to follow other laws of the road. For example, a driver who drives recklessly or fails to use headlights may be guilty of negligence. Drivers who are unable to abide by the rules of the road are usually found guilty of negligence and are responsible for compensating you for all of your injuries and damages.

Elements of Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits

When you need to prove negligence in a car accident case, you will need to meet three elements of negligence. The first element of negligence is a breach, which establishes that the negligent driver took an action or inaction that caused the accident. For example, if a driver had not been speeding, other circumstances would not have led to your accident.

The second element of negligence is causation, which proves that the negligent action caused the accident. In a speeding case, this would mean that the act of speeding caused the collision. The final element of negligence is damages, which establishes that you were harmed and your personal property was damaged as a result of the negligent driver’s actions or inactions.

When Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston or San Antonio?

So, when do you need to hire a car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio to help with your car accident case? In general, many drivers involved in minor accidents will only need a car accident lawyer if an insurance company refuses to offer a settlement for injuries and damages. Insurance companies that deny a claim after a car accident may need to be taken to court to secure a settlement.

That said, there are other circumstances when you may need legal assistance to advocate for your compensation for any injuries or other damages you may have suffered as a result of the accident. Some other reasons you may require a car accident lawyer can include:

Major Injury

You will likely need the help of a lawyer if you have been severely injured in an accident. Your injuries can lead to loss of wages, loss of earning potential, temporary disability, permanent disability, and ongoing medical treatments. You will need compensation from the negligent driver to help you pay for your medical treatments and to make up for the loss of wages you experienced because of your injury.

Wrongful Death

For those who have lost a loved one as a result of negligent driving, you can also sue the negligent driver for wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, you will need to prove that the negligent driver’s actions directly caused the death of your loved one and that you should receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Many families that file lawsuits for wrongful death also seek compensation for the loss of earning potential if the loved one was the primary income earner of the household.

Comparative Negligence

You may need a car accident attorney in Houston and San Antonio if you are involved in a comparative negligence case. Comparative negligence is a doctrine in Texas that allows both drivers involved in an accident to claim compensation for any damages. In these cases, it’s imperative to prove that you are less than 51% responsible for an accident, which will then allow you to claim a personage of compensation.

You will need to provide plenty of evidence to prove why you are not liable for the accident, as well as prove why the other driver’s negligence was the primary cause of your injuries and damages. Comparative negligence can be triggered by either driver involved in the accident.

Settlement Offer

You may also want to contact a lawyer in Houston and San Antonio if you are being approached by an insurance company or the other driver’s lawyer with a settlement offer. If you are being offered settlement, you will want an experienced car accident lawyer to look at the settlement offer to determine whether or not the compensation is adequate for your damages and injuries.

There are many times when the initial settlement offer from an insurance company is not enough to cover the medical expenses or the vehicle repair costs associated with an accident. If you aren’t sure whether or not a settlement offer is appropriate for your damages and injuries, it’s a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer who can objectively assess the settlement offer.

If you have been in a car accident, then it’s likely that negligence was involved. In a car accident case, negligence can include anything from speeding to texting to driving under the influence. If another driver was negligent, then they are liable for your injuries and damages. Contact Gamez Law Firm in San Antonio, TX today to learn more about filing a car accident lawsuit.