Comparative Negligence in Texas Injury Law

Like all Personal Injury lawsuits, it is imperative that all parties shall be investigated in order to prove which party is at fault. Since Texas follows the modified comparative fault law or what is commonly known as “proportionate responsibility” which means if you are found partially at fault for the injury, then your compensation claims can be reduced or you may lose the right to claim if the plaintiff is responsible for more than half of the accident. This law prevents plaintiffs from unjust compensation claims against the defendants.

Thus, an injured driver who wants to sue must have less responsibility for the accident than the other driver in a collision.

Another important factor in comparing who is at fault is to check if there was negligence from the parties involved. You’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to navigate through the defendant’s tactics from shifting blame from themselves to maximize their client’s compensation.

So even if the accident was the defendant’s fault but you were not wearing your seatbelt, the defendant may contend that the severity of your damages was also because you failed to wear your seatbelt and will affect the overall value of your case.

51% Bar Rule

Texas, among twenty other states, follows the 51% bar rule. This means you are eligible for compensation when you have a partial fault or you will be unable to receive any compensation if you are determined to be 51% or more at fault for the accident.

In the end, if the plaintiff wins, their monetary compensation will be deducted from the percentage of their fault.

Let’s say there is a car accident between John and Ana. John gets injured and decides to sue Ana.

The value of the claim is $1000 but we find that John was 30% responsible for the crash and Ana was 70% responsible. John would only receive $700 in compensation.

If we apply the 51% Bar rule, and John was proven to be 60% at fault, he will lose the case and will not get any compensation.

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