Texas uses comparative negligence in regards to personal injuries sustained during a car accident and claiming damages against the other party with assistance through a personal injury law firm. This process requires insurance companies and the courts to determine how much each party contributed toward the car accident. To illustrate this concept, let’s look at a few examples.
One driver fails to stop at a red light and crashes into another driver who has the right of way. Since the first driver failed to stop, they would be considered at fault for the accident. As long as the other driver was not disobeying any traffic laws, the first driver would be 100% at fault.
Using our previous example, let’s assume the second driver was texting while driving. If they weren’t distracted, they could have avoided getting hit. In this example, the second driver could be held partially at fault for the accident due to their distracted driving.
How Compensation Is Calculated
The settlement offer one receives is based upon the degree of comparative negligence. In our first example, the second driver would be entitled to receive 100% of the settlement amount. In the second example, however, the second driver would only be entitled to a percentage of the total settlement amount.
Let’s say the second driver was determined to be 15% at fault. The total amount they are entitled to receive is $100,000. Since the first driver is only 85% at fault under comparative negligence, then the second driver would only receive 85% of the $100,000 or $85,000 as their settlement.
This means even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you could still have grounds for a personal injury claim against the other party. However, insurance companies will try to make it look like you are at greater fault, and they do not always offer a fair and just settlement.
As such, it is best if you consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer to protect your interests. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident and personal injuries, please feel free to contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers at 713-364-0723 today!