How Is Fault Determined in a Texas Car Accident?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents, meaning the victim will file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company rather than through their personal car insurance policy. But how is fault determined in a Texas car accident?
Here we describe the elements of determining fault in a car accident in Texas, define what evidence indicates fault, and discuss how comparative negligence works in pursuing compensation for car accident injuries.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case
In a car accident in Texas, which party is at fault for the crash? Fault can sometimes be difficult to determine, such as in cases where one party failed to yield because they didn’t understand when to yield the right of way. Generally speaking, the elements of fault in a Texas auto collision include:
- The negligent driver had a duty of care to the victim
- The negligent driver failed to uphold the duty of care and caused the accident
- The victim suffered property damage to their vehicle and bodily injury as a result of the negligent driver’s actions
After an accident, each party will need to submit their statements of the events for the police report. To file an insurance claim or injury lawsuit for the accident, the victim must prove the negligent driver was at least 51% responsible for the accident that caused their injuries.
Evidence Used To Determine Fault in a Car Accident
The insurance company will use several pieces of evidence to determine fault in an accident. Some potential evidence they will consider includes:
- Police reports of the incident
- Security footage from nearby businesses
- Photos and videos of injuries and property damage from the accident
- Witness testimony
Sometimes police officers will include who they believe is responsible for the accident in their report, but this assessment is optional, and many officers do not include this information. However, officers may issue citations at the scene for traffic violations that led to the accident, which can assist the insurance adjuster in determining fault.
So, how is fault determined in a Texas car accident? The insurance adjuster will consider the relevant evidence in the claim and determine fault for the client, deny fault and your claim, or accept fault and pay a lesser amount. An experienced injury attorney can help you get the compensation you seek for your injuries and expenses after an accident.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Texas operates under comparative negligence laws. Comparative negligence is the amount of responsibility the victim carries for their car accident injuries. For example, if the victim doesn’t wear their seatbelt and suffers injuries when thrown from the vehicle after being rear-ended, the victim will likely share responsibility for their injuries.
Texas caps comparative negligence compensation at 50%. In other words, you must be 49% responsible for your injuries in a car accident or less to recover damages in your car accident case. If you are at least 50% responsible for your injuries, you may not pursue compensation from the other party.
Remember that the insurance company is looking for any possible reason to reduce your claim. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, and never speak to the insurance adjuster or an insurance company representative alone.
Contact Haines Law, P.C., for a Car Accident Case in Houston, TX
Call Haines Law, P.C., at 832-770-6603 or contact us online for a free consultation after a car accident in or around Houston, TX.