Accidents are so common that you’ll have a more challenging time finding someone who hasn’t been involved in one than you will be finding someone who has. They can range from an inconvenience to a crash with devastating circumstances for you and your family.
Suppose you were partially at fault for the accident occurring. For example, you were trying to avoid being crashed into by a distracted driver, and you were slightly distracted and made a lapse in judgment. Where does that leave you in the state of Texas? Read below to learn more.
What is Comparative Negligence?
You may have heard as some states are referred to as “fault states” or “no-fault states.” Texas follows a comparative negligence rule. What does this mean for you? Comparative negligence or fault implies that more than one driver can be found at fault for the accident. In some states, this may mean that you have no grounds to file for damages against the other driver since you were partially at fault.
In Texas, even if you were partially at fault, you may still be able to pursue damages successfully. Each party involved will have a certain percentage of “fault” they are responsible for after a thorough investigation. Once determined, the damages awarded to you are lessened by the portion determined to be your fault.
For example, if two people are involved in an accident and it is determined that you are 30% at fault for the accident, you would receive 70% of the total damages awarded in the case as your compensation. On the contrary, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you may not receive compensation.
How is Fault Determined in Texas?
If you’ve been caught up in the aftermath of an accident, you likely recognize how hectic the situation is. It can be challenging to determine who you think was at fault and why. There can be circumstances you were unaware of, weather or other factors that contributed to the accident, and more.
The facts of the case will be reviewed, and together with an accident investigation as well as any eyewitness statements, crash reconstruction, police reports, photo or video evidence, and more, fault can be determined.
What are Some Examples of Partial Fault?
In some cases, you may feel strongly that you had no fault in the accident and feel you are entitled to 100% of the damages.
If, however, you were speeding, failing to yield to the right-of-way, driving while impaired or distracted, or failing to obey traffic signs, these can all be examples of partial fault. A thorough investigation of the crash site and reconstruction may prove that you were partially at fault due to one of these common errors. If that is the case, a percentage of your fault will be assigned, and you may still receive compensation, but that percentage will lessen it.
What Are Some Steps I Should Take After an Accident?
You can take several steps to protect yourself after an accident. If you have never experienced one before, it can be easy to make mistakes that can damage your ability to pursue compensation in the future.
First things first, document as much as you can regarding the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Not only the location, but the weather conditions, road conditions, traffic flow, and the time of the accident. A police report will typically encompass these items, but you can help yourself by confirming all of these details were collected.
Seeking medical attention can also be a crucial step after an accident. In some cases, injuries don’t show up immediately, and something that can be assumed to be minor may result in issues in the future. Have a thorough exam, and relay the details of the accident to the medical staff so they can thoroughly check you over. This also provides a record of any issues immediately following the accident.
Photograph any damages to your vehicle, have a mechanic or body shop review the damage, and provide you with a full report. As with medical issues, some mechanical issues may not present themselves immediately and can cause problems down the road if not addressed.
Seek experienced legal guidance. This step can be crucial before discussing any details with insurance companies. This is because insurance companies typically don’t have your best interest at heart and are hoping to settle, in most cases, for less than what is deserved. Your attorney, however, will be a trusted advocate for you, have your best interest at heart, and ensure that if you are entitled to compensation, you receive what is rightfully yours and don’t settle for less.
Why Work With an Attorney?
As discussed above, it can be invaluable to have someone with your specific interests at heart in accident cases. Your trusted attorney is well-versed in accidents, as they are a daily occurrence. They know what to look for, what costly mistakes to avoid, and how to assist you best so you can get the compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact our office at (855) 545-1777 to speak with an experienced and compassionate attorney regarding your accident and learn more about how we can best assist you moving forward. We look forward to working with you.