Each state makes its own rules about who pays who in the event of a car crash. Texas works on the theory of modified comparative fault.
Comparative fault means that a court will look at what percentage of responsibility each driver holds for the crash. It would then deduct your portion of blame from the total you would get. For example, you need to claim $200,000 to cover your injuries. The court decides that you bear 10% of the responsibility for the crash and the other driver 90%. The other driver’s insurer must then pay you $180,000.
What does modified comparative fault mean?
Texas’s modification to the comparative fault law means that if the court decides you are more than half to blame for the collision, you cannot claim any compensation from the other party. In other words, if a jury or judge decides that you’re 51% responsible for your own injuries, you can’t collect anything for your losses.
How can you show the other party is mostly responsible for a crash?
Here are some possible ways to show that the other driver is at fault:
- Check the other driver’s phone records: You crashed at 11.33 am. If phone records show the other person started a call at 11.29 am and had not hung up by the time your vehicles hit, you have evidence they were distracted. A subpoena may be able to get you what you need.
- Find camera footage: This could be footage from the street a few hundred meters back showing the other vehicle overtaking yours or driving recklessly in city traffic. You may not know what’s available until your attorney goes looking.
These aren’t the only ways you can establish fault and liability, of course. Often, witness testimony, accident reconstruction and the statements of the parties involved can all add up to convincing evidence. The more thorough your investigation your legal team carries out into your car crash, the more chance of finding a few small things that can sway the compensation balance in your favor.