Who is at fault is a factor in recovering compensation in any accident and injury case. State laws vary in how they determine negligence, hold parties responsible and determine damage awards. The legal term “comparative negligence” refers to a comparison of negligence between parties involved in an accident or injury and typically judges must weigh the actions of all plaintiffs and defendants in a case in terms of their fault or negligence.
Texas courts base personal injury recoveries on the Texas Proportionate Responsibility statute. Under this statute, anyone who is 50 percent or more at fault for causing an accident cannot recover compensation for damages. In addition, the court reduces a plaintiff’s recovery based on the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff failed to wear a seatbelt during a collision that the defendant caused by running a red light, the court may still assign the plaintiff some percentage of fault for the seatbelt law violation, judging that injury would not have been as severe had the plaintiff been wearing a seatbelt. If the court decided the seatbelt violation warranted a 20 percent fault percentage, the plaintiff would still be able to recover compensation but would recover 80 percent of the damages instead of 100 percent. For damages valued at $100,000, the plaintiff could only recover $80,000.
Rely on an experienced injury lawyer
The lawyer’s ability to present convincing evidence and influence a judge or jury to assign greater percentages of fault to the defendant is a key factor in maximizing recoveries for clients.
By putting a skilled and experienced El Paso personal injury lawyer on your side, you increase your chances of winning the case and obtaining enough compensation to cover your damages.