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Understanding Negligence in Texas Personal Injury Lawsuits


Being involved in an accident would be challenging for anyone. When your injuries were caused by the irresponsible or negligent actions of another, you can take action and hold them accountable by pursuing a personal injury claim against them.

However, you might be wary about filing the claim if you know that you are partially responsible for the cause of the accident. Read on to learn more about how being partially at fault doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t entitled to compensation for your damages.

Proportionate Responsibility

Texas follows proportionate responsibility, also known as modified comparative negligence, when determining liability for the cause of an accident. This means that even if you played a part in causing the accident that you were injured in, you could still seek compensation from the other involved party for your losses.

This is great news for individuals who are interested in filing a claim, but are worried about how much they’ll be held responsible for contributing to their own injuries. Your attorney will calculate your damages to determine how much your claim is worth. Next, your lawyer can review how you might have been partially culpable to determine what your percentage of liability could be.

Ultimately, the judge will be responsible for setting the specific percentage of your liability, but your lawyer will still be able to give you a basic idea of how much blame you should expect will be placed on you. Once your percentage of liability has been established, your final award will be reduced based on this number.

Although your final award will reflect your proportionate responsibility deduction, you could still be able to obtain a portion of your losses from the at-fault party. In addition, it’s important to note that if you are deemed to be more than 50 percent at fault, you will no longer be able to pursue your claim, as the standard for modified comparative negligence in Texas is 51 percent.

A Look at Modified Comparative Negligence in Action

If you’re not sure how proportionate responsibility might affect your claim, here’s an example. Let’s say the judge determined that you were 10 percent to blame for the cause of your accident, and the judge and/or jury has awarded you a sum of $500,000 for the total combined losses.

Once modified comparative negligence laws take effect, your $500,000 award will be reduced by 10 percent and your case will be closed with a final award of $450,000.

Proportionate responsibility doesn’t always mean that you are no longer entitled to compensation for your losses. You will be able to work with your attorney to achieve maximum compensation as long as your portion of negligence does not exceed 50 percent.

Work With a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have additional questions about how proportionate responsibility could impact your case, or if you are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer in Texas who can work to get you the most out of your claim, reach out to Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP today.

You can fill out the convenient contact form below or give our office a call at 214-522-9404 to schedule your free case evaluation as soon as possible.