Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. It means that you can recover compensation if you were partially responsible for an accident. However, your level of fault is a crucial consideration, as explained below.
If you were less than 50% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you contributed to the crash. However, if you bear most responsibility for the accident (more than 50%), you cannot recover any damages.
For example, you may be found partially at fault if you were texting when you rear-ended a driver who suddenly stopped in front of you. If the damages in the case total $10,000, but you are found to be 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by $2,000 (20% of $10,000), and you will only receive $8,000 in damages.
How is each driver’s level of fault determined?
When you file a car accident claim, the insurance company will investigate, among other things, the circumstances that led to the crash. It’s all part of the claim settlement process.
Investigators may use the drivers’ statements, eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage and even police reports to ascertain each driver’s contribution to the crash. Crash experts may also be involved when it’s unclear what happened in the lead-up to the accident.
The importance of legal representation to your claim
It is best to have the necessary assistance and guidance in the claims process to help protect your interest if you think you played a part in a crash. You do not want to shoulder excess responsibility since it will impact your potential settlement. Understanding your options when this happens will go a long way in helping you recover deserving compensation.