Imagine a driver is rear-ended and injured while stopped at a stop sign. The other driver points the finger at the victim because one of the victim’s brake lights was out. Can the victim still get compensation? Or how about this: A driver takes a left turn at an intersection and hits a car going straight, causing injuries to the other driver. The car going straight had the right of way, but the driver who took the left turn points out that the other driver was speeding. Can the speeding driver still get compensation?
Surprisingly, the answer to this question is often yes, because Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule in car crash cases.In car accident cases, negligence is not always a black and white issue. Sometimes both of the drivers involved are responsible to varying degrees.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
The modified comparative fault rule allows courts to take into consideration the degree to which each party’s negligence contributed to the car wreck. If the injured party is found to be 50 percent at fault or less, he or she may still be able to get compensation.
Under this rule, the total amount of compensation for the victim will be reduced based on the percentage to which he or she contributed to causing the car accident. For example, if the total damages suffered by the victim in the accident is found to be $100,000, but the victim is found to be 25 percent at fault, the award will be reduced by 25 percent, or $25,000. The victim will still receive $75,000 toward medical bills, lost wages and other costs. However, if the victim is found to be 51 percent at fault or more, he or she will get no compensation.
If you believe you were partly to blame for a car wreck, do not let that stop you from pursuing compensation. Instead, enlist an attorney who can argue on your behalf to reduce the percentage of fault and to increase your compensation.
At the law office of Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C., we are well-versed in handling car accident claims that involve issues of shared fault.