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Think of the situation surrounding your injury. Do you feel someone’s negligence caused you harm? Personal injury claims generally arise because some generic duty is breached, which causes harm and damages. However, it is essential to note that not every defendant is held to the same standard; different people have different duties.

For example, a doctor has a different duty to you than your employer. The legislature has outlined these specific duties, and case law has shaped what each plaintiff must prove. This article will discuss the instances where specific tasks exist and what each plaintiff must prove concerning these duties.

General Personal Injuries

Whether there is a specific duty or not, in every personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove there is a duty, the breach of that duty is the proximate cause of the harm, and damages resulted from the harm. The plaintiff always maintains this burden and remembers nothing is a given. Just because you sustained an injury does not mean you are automatically entitled to money. You, the plaintiff, must have evidence to prove the above elements to be successful. Our skilled Deer Park injury attorneys are here to guide you through this process successfully. Now let’s look at the different duties owed to you.

What is the Duty of Care in a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Did you sustain an injury from a doctor?

To have a winning claim against your doctor, you must be able to show not only that you are harmed or that the doctor made a mistake, but that:

  • The doctor caused you an UNDUE amount of harm, or the mistake resulted from actions contrary to accepted medical procedures or practices.
  • The doctor’s behavior must be egregious, or he must have significantly deviated from what other doctors in his field would do, for example. Expert testimony must be collected on your behalf describing your injuries.

Our attorneys are very familiar with this process and can depose the pertinent people to substantiate your claim, giving you the best possible chance of winning.

What is the Duty of Care in Premises Liability?

Premises liability is another area where there is a specific duty of care. Premises Liability involves property owners and the people that enter onto that property.

In Texas, we classify people that enter someone else’s property as:

  • Licensees
  • Invitees
  • Trespassers

Determining The Duty

Licensees have guests or anyone who is on your property with your permission. The property owner must warn the guest of known risks that the guest is not likely to become aware of. For example, you invite your friend over for dinner and know there is a massive hole in the ground on the path up to your house. You must warn your friend about the hole because you know it is there and it is dangerous. If you failed to warn your friend about the hole and she falls, you are most likely liable for her injuries. There is a duty to warn licensees of a known danger.

You are an invitee any time you are on a property for business purposes. The property owner must warn the invitee of any danger, even if it’s not apparent. This means the property owner must inspect the premises before the invitee enters to uncover any dangerous situations. 

The owner is then required to correct or mitigate any dangerous areas. For example, your electrician comes over to fix something and trips and falls over a cable running across the house. You should have moved the cord so no one could trip over it. It is likely you; the property owner, would be liable to the electrician, your invitee, for any reasonable damages he incurred because of his fall.

Trespassers are people who are wrongfully on your property. In other words, they do not have permission to be there. However, property owners must warn trespassers of any known dangers they are likely to encounter. For example, if you know people cross your property without your permission to get to a lake, and you know there is quicksand on the trail, you must warn the trespassers of the quicksand they could fall into if they cross the path.

What is the Duty of Care For Employers?

In Texas, employers have the option of buying a workers’ compensation insurance plan. If employers are opt-in, they are entirely insulated from work-related injury claims from employees. This means if you are injured at work, you may not sue your employer for damages. If the employer does not have insurance, an employee may pursue a claim against the employer.

Who is Liable in a Products Liability Case?

The manufacturer is generally the party you want to sue when a defective product hurts you. If there is a faulty design or utility aspect, the manufacturer creates a better, safer effect for the market. Presenting evidence to a jury on how/why a product is defective can get very complicated and technical in this day in age. 

Our skilled Deer Park personal injury attorneys present the technical evidence to a jury in a straightforward way to increase your chances of winning the settlement you deserve. 

These are three theories of products liability under which you may sue:

  • Adequate Warning
  • Inherently dangerous product
  • Failure to work properly

All products must have an adequate warning. The label must warn against all possible side effects and foreseeable misuses. For example, drug labels may fail to warn of specific side effects. Next, an inherently dangerous product may be used in the suggested manner, but it is still unreasonably dangerous working as it is. In other words, the product should have never been made because it cannot avoid producing hazardous consequences. For example, a child’s toy is toxic. Even being used as intended, the toy is dangerous. 

The last cause of action is when a product fails to work correctly when used correctly. For example, a brand new vacuum blows up as soon as you plug it in for the first time. The consumer was using the vacuum properly, but the product was defective.

Call Our Deer Park Personal Injury Attorneys Today!

As you can see, your cause of action determines what evidence you need for a successful claim. Let our attorneys help you sift through your situation to formulate the best possible case. Call Joe I. Zaid & Associates for a free consultation at (281) 990-5200.

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