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What Is the Difference Between Negligence and Recklessness?

Posted by Trent Kelly on August 20, 2022
What Is the Difference Between Negligence and Recklessness?

These two terms often get confused for one another, so let’s take a closer look at what negligence and recklessness actually mean in Texas. If you believe that someone else’s conduct led to your car accident or another type of incident, consult with a law firm in Austin that handles injury claims right away.

What’s Considered Recklessness in Texas?

Texas Penal Code § 6.03 speaks of culpable, or blameworthy, mental states when it comes to acts of recklessness. What it basically reads is that if a person intentionally or knowingly commits harmful, careless, incautious actions that “grossly deviate from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise,” then they were acting in a reckless way.

When someone gets hurt as a result of their reckless actions, they very well could owe that person significant damages in the State of Texas. This is where your hard-working Austin car accident lawyer comes in, investigates your case, and retrieves the highest payout possible for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, etc.

What’s Considered Negligence in Texas?

In the Lone Star State, negligence has no specific definition under a statute but is instead a common law concept. Negligence means that:

  1. A person owed you a duty of care
  2. The person breached their duty of care
  3. Their breach caused you injuries and damages

There is no requirement that a party grossly deviates from the standard of care, such as with recklessness. Instead, any deviation from what a reasonable person would do can constitute negligence if injuries result. Most personal injury claims arise from negligence, as this is the level of misconduct that regularly causes accidental injuries.

Examples of Negligence and Recklessness

Negligence is the most common legal basis for injury claims. Some allegations of negligence might include:

  • Drivers who are distracted and cause car crashes
  • Property owners who fail to address property hazards and customers suffer injuries
  • Manufacturers who unintentionally sell defective products that cause injuries

Negligence often involves an error that someone else would not have made.

Recklessness, on the other hand, involves conduct the party knows is likely to cause injury, but they go ahead and do it anyway. This might involve:

  • Drag racing or excessive speeding through residential streets
  • Driving drunk after previous DWI convictions
  • Storing weapons or toxic chemicals where others (especially children) can easily access them
  • Knowingly selling a drug that causes serious health problems, such as cancer

Recklessness opens the possibility for exemplary (or punitive) damages in many cases. This is something your injury attorney will review to ensure you receive the full damages you deserve.

Contact Your Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been injured by another party’s reckless or negligent behavior, don’t hesitate to contact us at TK Injury Lawyers. We can review how your injuries occurred and advise you of your legal options. We handle every step of the process, including filing and negotiating insurance claims or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court when needed. Consultations are always free – reach out today.

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