Can I Collect Money if I Was Partly at Fault for a Car Wreck?

Written by Greg on September 13, 2019


Vehicle accidents occur quickly, and sometimes even the drivers are unsure of what happened to cause the crash. Some accidents are caused by only one driver, like when a driver rear-ends a car stopped at a traffic light. 


Other times, the cause of the accident is not as clear. In some cases, both drivers may have contributed to the accident in some way. After an accident, you might wonder whether you will be able to collect money for your damages if you were partially at fault. 


In Texas, you are allowed to get paid for accident damages as long as you were less than 51% at fault as determined by a judge or jury.


What is Contributory Negligence In Texas?


The contributory negligence law in Texas means that all drivers involved in an accident may have their conduct examined to determine if they contributed to the crash. The law states that a driver may collect damages from the accident as long as he or she was no more than 50% at fault.


If you were partly to blame in your accident, the damages you collect would be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages due to the accident, but you were found to be 10% at fault, the most you could collect would be $90,000. Your percentage of fault would reduce your damages.

Many times, accidents involve more than one negligent person. For instance, if a vehicle crashed into another car, the driver may be mostly responsible. However, if the other driver was speeding at the time, this action might have contributed to the crash. In this example, one driver maybe 75% responsible, and the other driver might be 25% responsible. You can see how the assignment of negligence and responsibility in a crash is essential to collect the damages that you are owed.


How is Negligence Assigned to Each Driver After a Crash?


Generally, insurance companies determine the damages they offer to pay out after a crash pre-verdict. 


The insurance company wants to reduce their payout in the incident, and therefore, they may be inappropriately concerned with the assignment of negligence. 


The insurance adjuster will evaluate the accident based on several things such as the police report, the damage to the vehicles, and drivers’ accounts of the crash. 


Recorded Statements to Adjusters Can Hurt Your Case


The insurance company will contact you after the accident to make a statement. Keep in mind that the statement will be recorded and it can be used against you later. You need to be careful before you make a statement to the insurance company since your words matter.


It is best to consult with an experienced Houston accident attorney before you give a statement to the insurance company. Your attorney will review the facts of the case and will act on your behalf to protect your rights. 


After an accident, you might be owed compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. 


At Baumgartner Law Firm, we work hard to get you the money you deserve. We have helped get millions of dollars for our clients, and we may be able to help you, too. 


Contact Baumgartner Law Firm today for a free initial case consultation if you were injured in an accident in Texas.

Call (281) 587-1111



Posted Under: Laws and Rights

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