Determining Fault for Car Accidents in Houston?
Written by greg on June 13, 2018
Car accidents happen every day and most people will be involved in a car crash at one time or another. Luckily, most accidents are not serious and result only in minor injuries and damages. When an accident happens, it is helpful to understand who is at fault. Even those who are partly to blame for an accident in Houston are able to recover damages, depending on the circumstances.
Modified Comparative Fault
Many drivers mistakenly think that if they were at all to blame for an accident, then they will not be able to receive compensation. In Texas, that is not true. Texas utilizes the doctrine of comparative fault in determining responsibility for an accident.
Comparative fault means that more than one party may be responsible for a crash. A portion of responsibility will be ascribed to each party in an accident. Then, that percentage is applied to your own damages. Modified comparative fault allows drivers who are less than 50% responsible for an accident to collect damages in an accident. If a driver is more than 50% responsible for causing the crash, then he or she is not allowed to collect anything.
If you are partly responsible for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by that amount. For example, if you suffered a loss of $10,000 but were 10% responsible, your damages will be reduced by 10% and you will receive $9,000.
How is Fault Determined?
Determination of fault in an accident can sometimes be complex. There are many factors that need to be considered when figuring out which party is responsible. The cause of the accident must be ascertained. Sometimes the cause is clear, such as when someone rear ends another car. Other times, the cause is not as easy to learn.
The police initially make a report based on their findings at the scene. They also may take statements from the drivers as well as any witnesses. Sometimes an accident reconstruction specialist is needed to piece together what happened immediately before, during, and after a crash.
Some other factors may also be involved such as whether any driver was using a cell phone or was otherwise distracted or was impaired at the time of the incident. Additional issues such as road conditions, weather factors and mechanical failures need to be considered.
Seek Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
There are a few things you should remember if you are involved in any type of accident. Always call the police to ensure that a report is made. If you are hurt, get medical attention as soon as possible. Retain all medical records and bills. Do not admit guilt or make any statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt.
Then, seek help from a Houston personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will gather evidence in your case and protect your rights. Your attorney will work to determine responsibility in an accident utilizing whatever resources are necessary.
If you were injured in an accident you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our experienced legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a consultation today. (281) 587-1111.