When someone is injured in a vehicle accident, determining fault is frequently a challenge. Suppose there is a wreck in which one driver is speeding and the other driver runs a stop sign. They have both broken the law, so how do we determine financial responsibility? In Texas, comparative fault rules are used to assign liability to the parties involved in vehicle accidents.
How Comparative Fault Works
Comparative fault exists because more than one person may be responsible for an accident, and each party should be held accountable for the damage they have caused. Under comparative fault, recovery for damages is reduced by the percentage of fault that applies to the plaintiff. The state of Texas uses modified comparative fault, which holds that a claimant found to be 51 percent or more at fault for an accident may not recover any damages. This means that if a trial court awarded $50,000 for a plaintiff’s injuries, but found that the plaintiff was 20 percent responsible for the accident, his recovery would be reduced to $40,000 ($50,000 minus 20 percent). On the other hand, if the court determined that the plaintiff was 60 percent responsible for his injuries, he wouldn’t be entitled to any recovery at all.
How Comparative Fault Is Determined
Under Texas law, a victim in a personal injury case may still be able to recover damages, even if he was partially at fault for the accident. The jury will decide how fault should be apportioned amongst all of the parties involved. Jurors will likely consider physical evidence, photos, testimony, and expert opinions presented at trial. Consequently, victims should retain an injury attorney experienced in arguing fault to jurors.
You Need an Attorney
Unfortunately, people injured in vehicle accidents often don’t contact an attorney if they feel they are partially to blame for the wreck. This is a mistake, since it can prevent them from receiving the compensation they are entitled to under the law. For professional representation, contact the Cain Law Firm by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.