You may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly to blame for the accident.
Texas laws follow a modified comparative negligence rule. That means that if you are in an accident and you are found to be primarily liable (51 percent or more) for the accident, then you will be unable to recover any damages from the other parties. However, if you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible for the crash, then you may still recover compensation. Your compensation will be reduced by the amount that you are at fault.
An Example of How Comparative Negligence Works
Comparative negligence is best illustrated by an example. Imagine that you are driving above the speed limit and you go through an intersection. Another driver makes a left-hand turn at the intersection and hits you. During the course of a lawsuit against the other driver, the other driver is found to be 80 percent at fault for the accident, and because you were speeding, you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the crash. The total amount of compensation is determined by a jury to be $100,000. The rules of comparative negligence mean that your compensation will be reduced by $20,000—a 20 percent reduction in the amount that you are owed. The damages awarded to you by the court should be $80,000 in this example.
Who Decides Percentage of Fault?
The amount of liability attributable to each party may be negotiated during settlement talks with the insurance company. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the court will decide the percentage of liability attributable to each party based on the facts of the case. An experienced lawyer can help present the facts of the face clearly so that a fair agreement about the percentage of liability can be reached during settlement negotiations or can be decided by the court. If you have any questions about your own liability or about the fair damages that you should receive after a Texas car crash, please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule an initial consultation.