After a serious accident, it's easy to assume one party is completely at fault. Most personal injury claims aren't this simple. In fact, most states acknowledge a legal concept called contributory (or comparative)negligence. This means that, even if the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, he / she can still recover compensation for a personal injury.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Texas
Texas, along with twenty other states, follows the 51% Bar Rule. This means that in the event of an accident, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation for his / her injuries if he / she is more than 50% at fault for the accident. The plaintiff can, however, recover financial compensation if he / she is less than 50% responsible for the accident.
Car Accidents and Comparative Fault
Car accidents often involve contributory negligence. After a wreck, it's easy to point fingers and pass the blame, but it's harder to determine whether or not one driver is wholly responsible for the accident and subsequent injuries.
Imagine that a drunk driver hits another vehicle, causing an accident that injures the other driver. What if the other driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt? Under Texas law, this could qualify as "contributory negligence," since wearing a seatbelt may have minimized the victim's injuries - although the circumstances will vary depending on the unique facts of a case.
When to Contact an Attorney after an Injury
If you suffered an injury in a serious accident, speak with an attorney immediately after seeking medical attention. Your health is your priority, and protecting your financial best interests is you second concern.
At Stern Law Group, our team of Houston personal injury attorneys has helped more than 40,000 clients get the financial compensation they deserve for economic and noneconomic damages. To learn more about our qualifications and to see how Stern Law Group can help your case, contact our office today.