Judge looking at lawyersIt is common for personal injury cases to involve situations where each party bears partial responsibility for the accident. In such a situation, the victim may believe that they are not entitled to damages since they were partially to blame for the incident. The fact of the matter, however, is that Texas is like most other states in that it allows an accident victim to recover damages even if they bear partial responsibility for what happened. I am writing this article to discuss how our state applies the doctrine of comparative fault. If you or a family member have been injured in south Texas then contact my office today to speak with a Laredo personal injury lawyer.

Texas has adopted the concept of modified comparative fault. This means that one may recover damages for an accident if they were partially responsible for the incident. This concept is applied to car accident cases, trucking accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. The compensation which one will receive will be reduced by the extent to which the jury finds that they were responsible for the accident. If the jury finds that a Plaintiff was at least fifty-one percent responsible for the incident then the Plaintiff will recover nothing. This is different from states which recognize the concept of “pure” comparative fault, which allow a Plaintiff to recover damages regardless of their level of fault.

The foregoing concepts are best explained by way of example. Suppose Joe Driver is approaching an intersection at which he will turn left. The light turns yellow and Joe accelerates to beat the turn signal. He turns into the intersection at a speed that is faster than the posted speed limit and hits an oncoming car, driven by Jack. Jack, however, was also driving in excess of the speed limit and the evidence shows that he was talking on the phone at the time of the collision. Had Jack been paying attention to the road, he would have seen Joe coming. Joe suffers $1,000,000 in damages and the jury decides that each party is equally responsible for the wreck (meaning liability is fifty-fifty). Joe will receive $500,000 in damages ($1m – 50% fault). If, however, the jury had decided that Joe was more responsible than Jack, then Joe would receive nothing.

Hiring an experienced attorney can be crucial in any case which involves issues of comparative fault. The issue of who is to blame is always decided by the jury and can be highly subjective. Two groups of jurors may be presented with the same facts and they may reach different conclusions. This means that in a contested case it is important that your counsel have experience in picking a jury. They should also have experience in presenting the facts of the case in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to follow. This helps to make the case that one side should bear more responsibility for the accident than the other.

If you or a family member have been involved in a south Texas accident then contact my office today to speak with a Laredo personal injury lawyer. My firm believes in standing up for the rights of people over those of insurance companies and we will give your case the attention it deserves. I am honored to serve our local community and I pride myself on providing the highest level of service. Contact us online or by telephone today.