If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident or slip and fall, you will likely need to prove that another party’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. Once you have established that another party is at fault for your accident, that party will be liable for damages including medical expenses and lost wages.
In some cases however, more than one party is at-fault for the accident. In fact, the victim themselves may be partially responsible for their own accident. In a two-vehicle accident, both drivers may have acted negligently behind the wheel and both parties’ negligence may have played a role in the accident. In a slip-and-fall, the person who fell may be partially at fault for not paying attention to their surroundings or ignoring warning signs posted by the store.
Every state has different laws regarding whether a victim who is partially responsible for their own injuries can recover damages.
Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” proportionate responsibility law
In Texas, parties who are partially at-fault for an accident can still recover damages, but only if they are less than 51 percent at fault.
If someone who is more than 0 percent at fault but less than 51 percent at fault files a lawsuit for compensation, their damages will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say a jury found that a motorist was 30 percent liable for a collision involving another vehicle and the driver of the other vehicle was found 70 percent liable. If the motorist was awarded $100,000 in damages, the court would reduce the motorist’s award to $70,000 based on the jury’s apportionment of fault.
It can be difficult to figure out who is at fault for an accident. A personal injury attorney in your area can evaluate your case and help determine whether your own negligence will bar you from recovering damages.