Personal Injury Reputation. Respect. Results.

Brownsville Personal Injury Lawyer

We all know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. What we also know is that sometimes other people or organizations act irresponsibly, which causes those bad things to happen. People who have been injured in an accident need help getting the financial remedy they need and deserve. Our Brownsville personal injury lawyer can help. 

Mendez Law Firm serves people throughout Cameron County and beyond. Wherever you are in the Rio Grande Valley, call today at (956) 983-9673 to schedule a free consultation.

The 4 Elements of Negligence

Plaintiffs must show that the defendant was negligent. Proving that means demonstrating these four elements are present: 

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of Duty
  • Causation 
  • Damages

Proving all four elements is absolutely essential. Missing on any of the four means a settlement will not be won in court and, therefore, unlikely to come about in negotiation. Having a talented Brownsville personal injury attorney in your corner might be the difference. 

The four elements can be described thusly: 

Duty of Care

Duty of care refers to the responsibility a person or organization has to act in a manner that is responsible in seeking to avoid harm to others. For example, drivers have a duty of care toward other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for visitors. Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees and customers.

Breach of Duty

The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty by failing to meet an acceptable standard of care. 

The standard of care expected varies depending on the situation, and it is usually arbitrary. For example, a driver is expected to adjust how they operate their vehicle based on weather conditions. Property owners are expected to make reasonable warnings if their dog is dangerous. The owner of a construction site is expected to take reasonable safety precautions. 

It is important to note that not every mistake or error constitutes a breach of duty. The plaintiff must show that the defendant's conduct deviated from what a reasonably prudent person would have done under similar circumstances. The court will assess whether the defendant acted reasonably, given the specific facts and circumstances of the case.


Causation refers to demonstrating a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and the plaintiff's injuries or damages. There are two types of causation that need to be established: actual cause and proximate cause. 

Actual cause focuses on the direct link between the defendant's actions or omissions and the plaintiff's harm. It requires showing that "but for" the defendant's breach of duty, the plaintiff would not have suffered the injuries or damages. 

Proximate cause involves determining whether the harm suffered by the plaintiff was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant's breach of duty. The court will assess whether the harm was within the scope of the risk created by the defendant's conduct. For example, if a person slips and falls on a wet floor in a grocery store due to the store's negligence in not putting up warning signs, it can be argued that the resulting injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the store's breach of duty.

It is important to note that proving causation can sometimes be complex, especially when there are intervening factors or multiple causes involved. Mendez Law Firm works with our clients to gather the necessary evidence and documentation to make their case. 


Damages refer to the specific losses or harm suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the first three components of negligence. 

These damages can be: 

  • Economic: These are tangible, quantifiable losses that can be directly measured. Economic damages may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other financial losses incurred as a result of the injury. 
  • Non-Economic: These damages are subjective and not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses that affect quality of life.
  • Punitive Damages: In certain cases where the defendant's conduct is found to be especially reckless, intentional, or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. While the damages are paid to the victim, their real purpose is to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. 

To establish damages in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff may include medical records, bills, receipts, expert testimonies, witness statements, and other relevant documentation demonstrating the injuries' extent and the resulting financial and non-financial losses.

When all four of these elements—duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages, a plaintiff is positioned to collect a settlement. However, one more step is determining whether there may have been fault on both sides. 

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Hear From Our Happy Clients

At Mendez Law Firm, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

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