What is Shared Fault and How Could It Affect Your Claim?
If you’re ever involved in a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, you may have to deal with the state’s shared fault rules. Basically, shared fault is the idea that both parties could share some level of blame for a crash that has led to injuries.
Usually, shared fault becomes an issue in a lawsuit when the defendant argues you were partially at fault for the accident. If, after an analysis, investigators find that you were somewhat at fault, you may be able to receive less compensation from the individuals who were primarily responsible for the crash.
Texas follows what’s known as the “modified comparative negligence rule” for shared fault injury cases. This means the amount of compensation to which you are entitled will be cut by the same amount as the percentage of your fault toward causing the accident. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you will be unable to collect anything from the other responsible parties in your case.
For example, imagine you were rear-ended while in the process of stopping at an intersection. In most cases, the person who rear-ended you would be considered fully responsible, but he or she presents evidence that your brake lights were not working. The court might decide you were 20 percent at fault for the accident because of this, while the other driver was 80 percent at fault. If the total damages were $20,000, you would receive $16,000, which is 80 percent of the total. The $4,000 you lose would be the result of your shared fault in the crash.