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Car Accident FAQ: What is Comparative Negligence?

Car Accident FAQ: What is Comparative Negligence?

In many car accident cases, individuals are unsure of their rights if they feel as though they share some fault in an accident. It’s essential to know what comparative negligence is and how Texas handles car accident cases.

Texas doesn’t use strict comparative negligence. Instead, the state uses a modified version called proportionate responsibility. Before you file a lawsuit for compensation, you should know what proportionate responsibility is and how it impacts your claim.

What is Proportionate Responsibility?

Proportionate responsibility limits the amount of compensation you may receive depending on the percentage of fault you hold in the accident. For instance, in a crash where you rear-ended someone, but the other driver did not maintain their brake lights, there may be certain elements to determine the percentage of fault.

  • Was the other party entirely at fault for lack of maintenance?
  • Were you speeding, thus impacting your ability to stop suddenly?
  • Was the other driver distracted when they stopped, causing you to have to stop unexpectedly?
  • Were you distracted, causing you to lose focus on upcoming traffic?

In some instances, you may hold a small percentage of fault. Under Texas’ proportionate responsibility laws, you may see a reduction in your compensation because of your actions.

How Does the Law Change Compensation?

If you are at fault for any percentage of the accident, a specific amount may come out of your compensation. Here’s a scenario:

  • You are in a crash in which the other driver is 75% at fault, and you are 25% at fault.
  • The jury awards you a total of $100,000 in damages.
  • Proportionate responsibility reduces your compensation by 25% because of your negligence.
  • Your final award is $75,000 instead of the initial $100,000.

You should know your rights after a crash. Our Houston car accident attorneys at Daspit Law are here to help you every step of the way. We’ll provide you with tenacious advocacy focused on helping you obtain the outcome you need.

Call our firm today at (888) 273-1045.

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