Texas has a very unique method of apportioning fault between participants to an accident. The statutory method is called “comparative responsibility” and is a pretty fair way of distributing fault after an accident.
Usually it is up to the jury to decide whether or not someone caused the accident and typically, a jury question lists all participants and asked the jury to apportion the fault between them – with the total to be 100%.
In effect, the jury usually determines, fault based upon a percentage of each person’s responsibility for causing the accident. When both parties may have some responsibility for the accident the jury usually apportions the blame by determining a percentage of fault for each person or entity designated.
As long as the personal injury victim is 50% or less at fault for an accident they will not be barred by the comparative responsibility scheme from collecting damages. It is noteworthy that an injury victims damages will be reduced by their own percentage of fault.
By way of example, if an injury victim were found to have suffered damages in the amount of $1 million yet also found to be 10% responsible for the accident, the damages would be reduced by 10% to account for the fault of the victim.
However, if the personal injury victim is found to have been 51% or more responsible for the accident, the victim may be precluded from recovering damages under the Texas statutory scheme.
You may Still Recover Damages
In short, personal injury victims who are partly responsible in the state of Texas can still recover damages, as long as they are not a majority of the cause of the accident.
If you have questions regarding whether or not you can maintain a case or whether a case is worth pursuing on your behalf, contact an experienced and reputable Houston personal injury attorney as early as possible, as certain time limits apply to all claims that can bar a case not timely brought.