Can I Recover Damages If I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
Auto crashes are never as simple as they may appear to be. It’s not always easy to determine who’s at fault for a car accident in Dallas, Texas. In many cases, involved parties may point fingers at each other, especially if the other motor vehicle driver is adamant that you are liable for the crash.
Often, car collisions in Dallas aren’t always the fault of one driver. In most cases, both drivers are considered to have shared a part in causing the accident. When this happens, it can affect the amount of compensation that you receive if you are partially at fault. Car accident laws in Texas come into play when determining how much you can recover if you are partially to blame for a car accident.
Between ignorance of Texas road rules, the potential absence of eyewitnesses, bad faith, and lack of clarity about one’s own behavior, determining who is liable for an auto wreck in Dallas can be challenging. For this reason, it’s important to know when you may be held liable for a car accident in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. You should hire a car accident lawyer to find out what Texas law says about co-responsibility for auto crashes.
Keep in mind that negligence and liability laws vary from state to state. This is why you should reach out to a Dallas car accident lawyer to find out if you are partially at fault for the car accident.
How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident?
Sometimes when an auto wreck occurs, one of the parties involved is automatically blamed for the crash, injuries, as well as losses. But how do you know for sure who is responsible for the car accident? Should you fill out an accident report and how? If there’s a disagreement between the involved drivers, what is the best recourse? And what does your auto insurance cover?
Evidence related to the case is crucial when determining liability. This may include:
- Police reports
- CCTV footage
- Witness accounts
- Forensic evidence
- Photos of physical damage
- Accident reconstruction experts’ reports
A judge and jury can use such pieces of evidence to determine liability after a car accident in Dallas, TX. For example, if CCTV footage shows a motorcycle rider lane splitting, they may be partly or entirely liable for an accident with a passenger car. Remember, lane splitting is illegal in Texas.
Types of Comparative Fault Systems
States all around the U.S. use three types of comparative fault systems to determine liability for personal injury claims.
Pure Contributory Negligence
This system restricts plaintiffs from recovering any form of compensation if they share any fault for the accident. Only four states follow this fault system.
Pure Comparative Fault
Followed by 13 states, this system allows injured victims to recover compensation even if they are 99% at fault for the accident. The court will reduce your award by your percentage of fault.
Modified Comparative Fault
Most states follow this system when assigning blame after car accidents. The modified comparative system has two variations:
- The 50% Bar Rule. Here, you may not recover compensation if you are 50% or more at fault for the car accident.
- The 51% Bar Rule. Here, the threshold is set at 51% or more. You can receive compensation if your fault is less than 51%. Texas applies the 51% modified comparative rule when determining fault.
Can I Recover Damages if I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
Determining who is responsible for your Dallas car accident is essential because the liable party may pay for any accident-related costs and expenses. In some cases, determining fault is straightforward. For example, if a truck driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher rams into your car, it’s clear-cut who is to blame for the accident. This logic may also apply to a driver who is operating their vehicle in the wrong lane.
Understanding how modified comparative fault works in Texas can help you determine whether you are partially at fault for a car wreck. Per the state’s proportionate responsibility laws, you may not recover compensation for your Dallas car accident claim if your fault for the crash is greater than 50%. Essentially, this means that you can’t pursue civil action if you share most of the blame for a car accident in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.
Picture this example of how a shared-fault car wreck settlement would work in Dallas, TX. Suppose you are driving on the I-20 LBJ Freeway and end up colliding with another driver; sustaining injuries and vehicle damage. The responding officer cites the other driver for reckless driving but also cites you for speeding. After the accident, you decide to seek compensation even though you are partially responsible for the accident.
If a jury rules that you were 30% at fault for the accident, you may be eligible to recover 70% of the total damages awarded. This implies that the reckless driver’s fault in the crash was 70%. If awarded damages amount to $50,000, you’ll receive $35,000.
When it comes to determining if you are partially at fault for a car accident, be wary about what you say to insurance adjusters. Even a simple “yes” or “no” might do irreparable harm to your case and jeopardize your Dallas car accident claim.
To determine if you are partly to blame for a car crash, the best practice is to work with experienced car accident lawyers like those at The Francis Firm. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping injured victims in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex during such complicated situations. We will look at the facts surrounding your case and prove that you deserve compensation for your injuries and damages.
Wondering if You Are Partially Responsible After a Car Accident? Call The Francis Firm Today
Comparative negligence is a modified version of contributory negligence law. It may affect the amount of compensation you receive after an accident. For this reason, you need to understand how comparative negligence law works in Texas and how it may affect your case if you are partially at fault for the car accident.
There are many benefits to hiring experienced car accident lawyers, like those at The Francis Firm, to determine if you are partially to blame for the car wreck. Our legal team can look at the facts of your case, help you find a doctor willing to treat your crash-related injuries, prove the defendant’s liability, and establish a legal strategy to prove your innocence and help you secure maximum compensation. Keep in mind that Texas is an “at-fault state,” implying the at-fault party must compensate the injured victim after a car accident. Contact our reputable car accident law firm today to schedule your free, no-obligation case review. We will help you understand your legal options.