Many people will admit that there was a time when they may have been neglectful in their everyday lives. Perhaps they forgot to lock their car, left wet clothes in the washer, or forgot to start cooking dinner. These small acts of negligence often result in a temporary feeling of foolishness as they correct these mistakes.
Legally, negligence takes on a slightly different tone. While an individual may still have to make up for their mistakes, the legal consequences of this can be severe in their impact. Cornell Law School defines negligence as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”
Broadly speaking, negligence is defined as acting in a way that a reasonable person would not. In the state of Texas, negligence is closely associated with the idea of personal injury, which can manifest in several ways:
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
Each of these types of personal injury could be the result of negligence on the part of the perpetrator.
A premises liability case may claim that a facility owner failed to properly mark a wet floor sign, leading to a slip and fall. Since most reasonable facility owners can and do place “wet floor” signs near wet areas, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that this facility owner was negligent.
Similarly, if a manufacturer sends out a product that has not been quality tested into the stream of commerce and that product injures a consumer, that manufacturer may be found to be negligent. The train of logic would be that since most manufacturers test the quality of a product before bringing it to market, a non-negligent manufacturer would do the same.
Medical malpractice is one of the more dire examples of the damage of negligence. If a doctor, nurse, or surgeon fails to properly sterilize their equipment, fully discuss treatment options and risks, or fails to properly inform their patients, that practitioner may be found to be negligent.
Dog bites are a rare instance where negligence can apply to another creature entirely. Since a dog is the property of its owner, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the dog is properly trained and well adjusted. If an owner brings an untrained, aggressive, or maladjusted dog around other people or animals, that dog may attack them. The negligence here is failing to properly account for the established behavior of the dog and still bringing it to a place where it could harm others.
If you have been accused of negligence, or any other form of personal injury, contact an attorney today to discuss your legal options and potential solutions.