Liability creates a legal responsibility. In personal injury cases, liability is the financial responsibility for injuries and losses. The at-fault party is liable or responsible for the harm they caused. Damages are the remedy for a personal injury case because the court cannot undo what happened to the victim.

What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case in Galveston, TX?

Compensatory damages for a Galveston personal injury case fall into one of two categories. Economic damages are intended to reimburse the injured party for past and future financial losses. 

Examples of economic damages include:

  • The cost of medical care and treatment, including hospitalizations, doctors’ bills, rehabilitative therapies, medications, medical devices, etc.
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income, including past and future lost wages and reductions in future earning capacity
  • In-home and long-term personal and/or nursing care
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, including household services and travel expenses

In addition to your financial losses, an accident or injury can cause tremendous pain and suffering damages

These damages are called non-economic damages and include:

  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Impairments and disabilities
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Diminished quality of life

The value of your claim depends on the facts of the case. A significant factor is the strength of your evidence. The stronger your evidence proves liability, the stronger your case for compensation for the total value of your damages.

Proving Liability to Recover Damages in a Galveston Personal Injury Case

You must establish liability before you can receive compensation for your damages from the person who caused your injury. Several legal causes of action create liability for personal injuries. A Galveston personal injury lawyer can help you build by gathering evidence and developing a legal argument. 


General negligence is the most common legal claim for personal injuries and accidents. Negligence occurs when a party fails to exercise reasonable care when a party owes the injured person a duty of care. 

Proving negligence requires evidence establishing:

  • A party owed you a legal duty of care
  • The party’s acts or omissions breached the duty of care
  • The breach of duty directly and proximately caused your injuries
  • You incurred financial losses, sustained injuries, and have other damages because of the party’s conduct

If the party disputes liability and you file a personal injury lawsuit, a jury decides what a “reasonable person” would have done given the facts of the case. If the party’s conduct falls short of the reasonable standard, the jury may find they were negligent.

Strict Liability

Strict liability creates financial responsibility for damages even though a party did not intend to cause any injury. Sometimes, a party may have exercised reasonable care, but the activity is inherently dangerous, so they are liable for any harm caused.

Examples of personal injury cases where strict liability might apply include:

  • Product liability claims
  • Some criminal acts
  • Abnormally dangerous activities
  • Injuries caused by exotic or wild animals

A dog owner in Texas may also be strictly liable if their dog bites or attacks a person. However, for strict liability to apply, the owner must have known the dog was dangerous.

Vicarious Liability

Generally, to be liable for damages, a party must contribute to the cause of the person’s injuries. However, vicarious liability can make a party liable for damages even though the party was not directly involved in causing the victim’s injuries.

Vicarious liability is used to hold employers liable for the negligence of their employees. For example, a trucking company may be liable for damages caused when a truck driver causes an accident. A business owner could be liable for damages if an employee causes a customer to slip and fall.

However, for vicarious liability to apply, you must meet two criteria. The party you are seeking to hold liable must have had a supervisory role over the party who caused your injury, such as an employer-employee relationship. Additionally, the employee must have been acting within the scope of their employment when the injury occurred. 

Negligence Per Se

The injured victim has the burden of proof in a personal injury case. However, proving negligence can be challenging in some situations. Negligence per se can shift some of the burden to the at-fault party.

Negligence per se occurs when a party causes someone to be injured while the party is breaking a law designed to protect the public. For example, causing a drunk driving accident or recklessly discharging a firearm. The result is a rebuttable presumption that the party was negligent.

The at-fault party can introduce evidence that they allege proves they were not negligent. Therefore, it is still essential for you to work with an experienced attorney who can build a case for liability against the at-fault party.

Seeking Help With a Galveston Personal Injury Case

If you have questions about liability for a personal injury claim, you can talk with a Galveston personal injury lawyer during a free consultation at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers. One of the best ways to protect your rights is to understand them. Personal injury lawyers are the best source for information about a claim. Contact our law offices today at 409-207-9299.