Man looking at the inside of the hood of his car after an accident

What Is Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases?

Comparative negligence is a legal principle courts use to determine how much fault rests with each party in an injury case and how much money each party should pay or receive. If you suffer injuries in an accident, and both you and the other person contributed to the accident, comparative negligence laws say you can still get money for your injuries. 

However, the amount of money you can get decreases based on how much you were at fault for the accident. This means if you’re partly to blame, you can still get compensation, but not as much as if you were entirely innocent. The way comparative negligence laws work varies from state to state, but their core purpose is to promote fairness by considering the actions of everyone involved.

How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Texas?

Texas uses a “modified” comparative negligence rule, which says you can only get money for your personal injury case if you are less than 51 percent at fault. For example, let’s say you suffer injuries in a car accident and decide to sue the other driver for your medical bills and lost wages, which add up to $100,000. Then, the court finds you 30 percent at fault because you drove a few miles per hour over the speed limit when the crash occurred. In that case, you could still recover compensation from the other driver, but you wouldn’t be able to get the full $100,000. Instead, you would get 70 percent of your total losses, which would be $70,000 in this case since the accident was 30 percent your fault.

What Happens If I Am 51 Percent or More at Fault?

If you are 51 percent or more at fault in an injury case in Texas, the law says you can’t get money for your injuries from the other person involved. This means that if you’re mostly to blame for an injury accident, you won’t receive any compensation from the other party’s insurance or in a lawsuit against them. In other words, you would have to cover your own costs out of pocket, without any financial help from the other person or their insurance.

Proving Fault in Personal Injury Cases

Proving fault in personal injury cases is all about showing who caused the incident, which means collecting solid evidence. This evidence can include photos of the scene, witness statements, and expert opinions. You could also use video footage if it’s available. Your lawyer will use this evidence to show that the other person did something wrong or didn’t do something they should have, which led to your injuries. 

For example, if another driver ran a red light and hit your car, your attorney could use traffic camera footage or witness accounts to prove it. Proving fault is essential in personal injury cases because it affects how much money you can get. The more evidence you have of the other person’s fault, the stronger your case will be.

How a Lawyer Can Minimize Your Fault and Maximize Your Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim

If you suffer injuries in an accident and decide to file a compensation claim, having an experienced lawyer by your side can make a big difference. They can minimize your percentage of fault and maximize the compensation you receive by:

  • Gathering compelling evidence to support your claim
  • Speaking with witnesses who saw what happened
  • Consulting with experts to reconstruct the accident
  • Reviewing video footage that captures the incident
  • Bringing in medical experts to prove the extent of your injuries
  • Calculating a fair value for your injury claim
  • Exploring all possible sources of compensation
  • Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Arguing against attempts to blame you unfairly
  • Challenging discrepancies in the other party’s story
  • Representing you in court, if necessary

Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Now

If you are dealing with a personal injury case and worrying about who’s at fault, Rochelle McCullough, LLP, is here to help. Contact us today for an initial consultation session, and let’s discuss how we can support you in your case.