Understanding Texas Comparative Negligence Laws

Personal injuries occur due to a wide range of causes and factors. Every year, millions are injured in hazardous situations like car accidents, workplace accidents, unsafe premises, pedestrian accidents, and more.

Sometimes, accidents are clearly the fault of one person. Other times, liability is more complicated. In Texas, however, the way you recover compensation may be different than in other states due to its unique comparative negligence law.

Call Thompson Law today if you were injured in an accident and are partially at fault. We understand the complexity of Texas negligence laws and will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Lawyer speaking with car accident victims who are his clients.

Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence in Texas

In Texas, we follow a “modified” comparative negligence approach to personal injury claims. According to the Texas modified comparative negligence standard, you have the right to seek damages even if you bear some responsibility for an accident. However, if you are determined to be more than 51% at fault, you will not be able to recover any damages. This rule in Texas is commonly referred to as the “51% bar” or “proportionate responsibility.”

In terms of compensation, proportionate responsibility might look like this:

  • You are awarded $100,000 as a result of your personal injury claim
  • The court finds you 30% responsible for your injuries
  • You receive only $70,000 of the original $100,000 in compensation

If you are found to be more than 51% responsible for the injuries sustained in your accident, you are not entitled to receive any compensation under Texas negligence laws. At Thompson Law, we know how confusing comparative negligence laws can be. Fortunately, our skilled attorneys have years of experience with personal injury accidents that involve shared fault.

Examples of Comparative Negligence

In each of the instances below, there is shared fault. Texas negligence laws exist to help determine liability, but shared liability is tricky, and it’s ultimately up to the courts to decide percentages of fault.

  • Driver A turns without signaling. Driver B, following too closely behind vehicle A, causes a collision.
  • A pedestrian suddenly runs into the road without warning and is hit by a truck that is driving well over the speed limit.
  • A customer in a restaurant is texting on their phone when they slip and fall on an unmarked spill.
  • Driver A makes a left turn and hits driver B who is speeding. In this case, Driver A is likely to be found majority at fault for making an unsafe turn, while driver B shares responsibility for speeding.

Hand using mobile smart phone taking photo of the car crash accident damage for insurance. Personal Injury Lawyer. Texas Comparative Negligence Laws

The Importance of Evidence in Comparative Negligence Cases

According to Texas comparative negligence laws, the evidence is crucial, a personal injury case is not the exception. And meticulously collecting evidence is never more essential than in comparative negligence laws cases where every percentage point counts. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help gather evidence to prove you are not more than 51% accountable for your injuries.

Evidence in a comparative negligence case might include:

  • Witness statements
  • Accident reports
  • Medical records
  • Your diary
  • Photos and videos, including from nearby surveillance cameras

How Can a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Determining fault in comparative negligence cases can be incredibly complex. And when you share responsibility, insurance adjusters could try to bully you into taking a low payout or none at all. But in Texas, you are entitled to seek compensation if you are less than 51% responsible for your injuries.

A Texas personal injury lawyer will help by:

  • Acting as your advocate:  Your consultation is free, and we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Our interests align with yours, and we want to ensure you get a fair payout.
  • Determining fault/liability:  Proving fault can be extremely challenging. But a seasoned Texas car accident lawyer has years of experience collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and establishing responsibility.
  • Evaluation damages:  Our expertise and experience uniquely qualify us to assess monetary damages like physical pain and suffering, healthcare expenses, future medical bills, lost wages, and more.

At Thompson Law, we know how devastating a car crash can be for you and your family. Our auto injury attorneys are here to discuss the details of your case so you can understand your rights under Texas negligence laws. Our goal is to let you focus on healing and recovery so you can get your life back.

Texas Personal Injury Attorney Areas of Practice

Personal injury covers a range of accidents and damages that result in physical, mental, and emotional harm. While auto accidents are the most common, Thompson Law is experienced with all types of personal injury claims, as well as Texas negligence laws.

We can help with the following:

Contact An Experienced Texas Injury Lawyer Today

After your accident, you might feel overwhelmed by stress and obligations. Whether you are dealing with lost wages, emotional distress, physical pain, or all of the above, a Texas car accident lawyer can help.

Remember, we do not collect any compensation until you win. Our legal experts are here 24/7 to assist with your case so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We are happy to answer any questions during your FREE CASE EVALUATION.

No Win No Fee for Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Attorney FAQ

What is a Texas personal injury attorney?

A Texas personal injury attorney is a legal professional who provides representation to individuals who have been physically or psychologically injured as a result of negligence or wrongdoing by another person, company, government agency, or other entity. These attorneys specialize in an area of law known as tort law, which includes civil wrongs and economic or non-economic damages to a person’s property, reputation, or rights. With a deep understanding of Texas negligence laws, they can help clients understand their rights and potential for compensation, even if the client holds some responsibility for the accident.

What is comparative negligence as it relates to Texas negligence laws?

Comparative negligence is a legal principle applied in personal injury claims to evaluate and divide fault among the parties involved in an accident. The award you receive depends on the degree to which your own negligence brought about the accident and injury. In the context of Texas law, the state follows a “modified comparative fault” rule, meaning a plaintiff can recover damages only if they are less than 51% at fault. If the plaintiff’s fault is 51% or more, they will not be entitled to any recovery.

What if I’m partly at fault in my car accident?

Even if you are partly at fault in a car accident, under Texas negligence laws you could still be eligible for damages. The critical factor is that your percentage of fault must be less than 51%. For instance, if you are found 30% at fault, you can recover 70% of your total damages. However, if your percentage of fault is deemed 51% or higher, you are barred from recovering any compensation.

Determination of fault percentage can be complex, involving an in-depth investigation and potentially conflicting perspectives. Therefore, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney that understands Texas negligence laws is often beneficial when dealing with such situations.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years. This means that, from the date of the accident or injury, you have a two-year window to file a lawsuit against the party or parties you believe to be responsible. If you fail to file within this time frame, your claim will likely be dismissed, barring some exceptions.

The statute of limitations varies by state, and applies to almost all types of personal injury cases, including car accidents, slips and falls, and medical malpractice. It’s crucial to keep in mind that this deadline is strictly enforced, and missing it can significantly affect your right to pursue legal recourse. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney promptly after your accident to ensure all necessary steps are taken within the appropriate timelines.

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State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.