Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
To prove that somebody was negligent in a wrongful death in Houston or anywhere in the state of Texas, your lawyer must prove the accidental death by showing:
- A Duty. Everybody owes the public a duty of ordinary care. We have an obligation to society not to do anything that would place another person in danger. We are obligated to use care and not speed, drink and drive, drive recklessly, act carelessly at work, etc.
- Breach of Duty. When somebody engages in behavior that puts other people at risk for injury, then it may be considered that they have breached the duty of ordinary care. If this breach results in injuries or death, then they may be held liable for damages.
- Causation. Proximate cause means that cause which, in a natural and continuous sequence, produces an event, and without which cause such event would not have occurred. In order to be a proximate cause, the act or omission complained of must be such that a person using ordinary care would have foreseen that the event, or some similar event, might reasonably result therefrom. There may be more than one proximate cause of an event.
- Damages. In any injury case, it is necessary to show that the negligent conduct actually caused harm to the plaintiff. In wrongful death cases, this rarely an issue unless the defendant maintains that the death occurred due to some other reason unrelated to the negligent conduct.
As examples, in a Houston personal injury claim involving a car accident, negligence is generally what causes most wrecks Some types of negligent behavior which can cause a car accident and personal injury or wrongful death include:
- Failure of the other car or truck driver to keep a proper lookout
- Failure of the other driver to control their speed such as speeding or driving too slowly
- Following too closely by the other driver
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Going through a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to control the vehicle
- Failure to use the brakes in the car
- Failing to use the horn
- Failing to use a turn signal correctly
- Driving in an impaired state such as under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving while distracted, such as using a cellphone or texting while driving
This is not an exhaustive list as there can be many other ways that the car or truck driver can act negligently and cause injuries. Furthermore, in many car accident cases, the negligent driver has failed to use ordinary care in multiple ways.
To prove that the negligent actions of the other car or truck driver is liable, we must show that they were the “proximate cause” of your injuries. ” In a car accident case, proximate cause is rarely an issue.