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Understanding Comparative Negligence in Texas Auto Accidents

After a car accident, you may endlessly pore back over the details of the crash, and wonder if you were partially responsible for your own injuries. While some states don’t allow you to bring a claim when you were partially at-fault, however, Texas is not one of them.

Because of a rule called “modified comparative negligence,” Texas courts will allow you to pursue compensation from the other driver, provided that you were not the main party at fault for your accident. In more specific terms, you cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit if you bear more than 51% of the responsibility for your accident – but you can bring one for anything less than 50%.

Practical Application: Comparative Negligence

As a practical example of this rule, let’s say that you were cruising along the Odessa freeway and hitting up to 10 mph beyond the posted speed limit. This action is a violation of the law, and it can be considered a form of negligence if you get into an accident, as it increases the probability of an accident. Now imagine that the other driver fails to use their turn signal and abruptly tries to merge into your lane, causing you to spin out and crash.

Your injuries would likely be severe, especially because you were moving at a higher-than-normal speed. In states without comparative negligence laws, you might not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries, depending on how the jury or judge views speeding as an infraction. However, in Texas, it’s possible that you would be ruled less than 51% responsible for this particular crash, allowing you to collect full damages from the other driver.

The Value of Seeking Compensation

Many people are reluctant to bring a personal injury lawsuit after a serious accident because they assume that they are partially to blame. But no matter what kind of injuries you sustained, you may need additional compensation to cover skyrocketing costs like medical expenses, time off work, lost future wages, and even loss of enjoyment in your life.

You have the right to pursue that compensation, and at the Dean Law Firm, we’re dedicated to helping you find the best possible avenue for receiving it. Trial-tested and experienced, our Midland and Odessa-based attorneys have won multiple awards for our work in the realm of personal injury. Because we offer free initial consultations, there’s no obligation to pursue a case unless you decide to do so – and we can often help clients find a better way forward into the future.

Call (432) 214-8125 to request your no-cost consultation!