According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2021, there were a total of 5,711 automobile accidents in Brazoria County. In Harris County, for the same year, there were a total of 114,674 accidents reported. As you can see, thousands of automobile accidents occur in Texas yearly, and it’s not always easy to determine who’s responsible.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand a few aspects of Texas law and when you can be held liable for a car accident.
Like many other states, Texas maintains a doctrine called modified comparative fault for personal injury claims. Modified comparative negligence allows you to be eligible for compensation in an accident if you were less than 51% at fault, also known as the 51% bar rule. Thus, if you are less than 50% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
à For example, if your damages in a car accident totaled $30,000, but you were found to be 30% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 30% or, in this example, $9,000. Therefore, you will be able to recover $21,000 and not the entire $30,000.
However, an injured driver may not recover damages if his percentage of responsibility is greater than 50%. This means if you are found to be more than 51% at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to recover anything.
Generally, fault can be determined by a formal trier of fact (like a judge or jury) or by an informal trier of fact, like an insurance company. In both circumstances, fault is determined by evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and camera footage.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, an experienced attorney at The Furey Law Firm is ready to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.