Austin Injury Victims Should Understand Texas’ Comparative Fault Laws by Dan Christensen | Mar 17, 2016 | Personal Injury Basics
Texas is similar to many other states in that it has adopted the idea of “comparative fault.” This means that a victim in an Austin personal injury case may be able to recover even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident. It is important for negligence victims to understand this concept so that they do not err in thinking they cannot recover due to having partial blame for the incident. This article is meant to explain the idea of comparative fault and how it applies in the State of Texas. If you have been injured, it is highly suggested that you contact an attorney immediately.
Texas injury victims may recover for injuries even if they were fifty percent responsible for the accident
Texas is a comparative fault state in which the Plaintiff can recover as long as they were not more than fifty percent responsible for the accident. Any amount awarded to the Plaintiff will be reduced by their proportion of the fault. This is best explained in the following example. If a pedestrian crosses the street, even though the crosswalk has a “do not cross” light flashing, then that pedestrian is negligent. Now suppose that a driver, not paying attention, runs a red light and hits the pedestrian. The driver is also negligent. A jury hearing this set of facts may feel that each side is fifty percent responsible for the pedestrian accident. If the jury decides that the pedestrian suffered $100,000 in damages then the pedestrian will receive $50,000 (the $100,000 award reduced by the pedestrian’s 50%). A Plaintiff in our courts will be able to recover as long as their share of liability is not fifty-one percent or greater.
The decision as to how fault should be apportioned is made by the jury. At the conclusion of evidence the jury will be instructed, by the Judge, on the subject of comparative fault (which is sometimes referred to as “comparative negligence”). In determining how fault should be distributed, the jurors will consider testimony, physical evidence, photos, expert opinions, and any other evidence which is presented at trial. This means that victims should retain an injury attorney experienced in arguing fault to jurors.
Austin accident victims should retain a lawyer experienced in arguing fault
If your personal injury case involves comparative fault, it is crucial that you retain counsel who is experienced in arguing before a jury. Dan Christensen is a former prosecutor, a form JAG Corps officer, and has spent more than twenty years standing up for the rights of victims. He has tried over two hundred jury cases and is ready to assist you. Contact us today to speak with our lawyers. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.