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Understanding comparative fault in Texas motor vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When you get into a motor vehicle accident in Texas, determining who is at fault is crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Texas follows the comparative fault rule, meaning all parties involved can share fault. There are some things you need to know about comparative fault in motor vehicle accidents.

What is comparative fault?

Comparative fault, also known as proportionate responsibility, allows multiple parties to share the blame for an accident. Each party’s degree of fault determines compensation adjustments.

How do you determine fault?

Determining fault involves several considerations from several different parties.

Police officers investigate the scene and create reports based on evidence and witness statements. These reports often provide critical insights into fault determination. From there, insurance companies review police reports, witness statements, and other available evidence to assign a percentage of fault to each party involved.

If the case goes to court, a judge or jury examines the evidence presented and decides the percentage of fault for each party.

Impact on compensation

Your compensation decreases based on your percentage of fault for the car accident. If you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still recover damages, but the amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Consider the following practical examples:

  • Minor fault: If you hold 20% of the fault in an accident with total damages of $20,000, you would receive $16,000.
  • Significant fault: You would not receive any compensation if you hold 50% of the fault in an accident with $15,000 in damages.

Navigating the comparative fault rule

Understanding comparative fault helps you manage your expectations and prepare for possible outcomes. Stay informed about your rights and responsibilities on the road to protect yourself and others.