In Texas, many factors are taken into consideration when determining where one lies on the spectrum of fault. For instance, while one person may have been speeding at the time of the crash, the other driver may be the most at fault for significantly more dangerous or risky behavior, such as texting while driving, racing, driving with a revoked license, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
Modified Comparative Fault
To account for the possibility of both parties holding varying amounts of fault for a car crash, Texas law recognizes modified comparative fault. This model is used to determine who is liable for which percentage of damages. Those who fall below 50 percent of fault will receive compensation for the percentage of which the other party is at fault. Thus, when one party is found to be 30 percent at fault, the other is responsible for 70 percent of the costs of the accident.
Factors From the Time of the Accident
The events leading up to a vehicle accident will affect the outcome of the case by revealing which driver was using the most negligent behavior prior to—and during—the accident. Disobedience of traffic laws is a significant indicator for liability, as is causing the crash with sudden actions, such as switching lanes too quickly or slamming on your breaks.
Factors of Influence After the Accident
Your actions following a car accident may also impact the outcome of your personal injury case. Factors of influence include:
- When and where you received medical attention: If you didn’t take the proper steps to address your injuries thoroughly after being involved in a car accident, you may lose a percentage, or all, of your compensation for your injuries.
- Admission of fault: If you admit fault to the other driver, the insurance adjuster, witnesses, or first responders, your statement may be used against you in court.
- Evidence: Evidence such as photographs, medical records, and witness statements can be used to determine fault in the case following an accident by providing clues as to the cause of the crash.
Unavoidable Accidents and Sudden Emergencies
In the event that the accident was not caused by the actions of either driver, it may be considered “unavoidable.” Instances of unavoidable accidents include:
- An animal or person suddenly darting into the road
- Unexpectedly icy roads or foggy skies
- Falling debris
Sudden emergencies are similar to unavoidable accidents because they are used to remove fault from both parties. However, in this case, the onset of an emergency—such as a medical emergency that inhibits the driver’s ability to drive—that was not caused by the driver serves as the cause of the accident. An example of a sudden emergency accident includes experiencing a seizure while behind the wheel.
Ways to Protect Your Claim
There are several ways that you can improve the strength of your claim and the amount of money that you can recover. These include:
- Documentation of losses: Document your medical expenses, the extent of your property damage, time off work, and anything else that may factor into the overall cost of the crash. Doing so will help establish the amount your claim is worth and provide proof that these expenses are justified.
- Don’t admit fault: It is important to avoid discussing the specific details of the accident. Seek medical attention and contact an attorney as soon as you can after being involved in a car crash.
- Seek treatment immediately: Don’t let the argument that you weren’t proactive about treating your injuries prevent you from receiving funds for your medical treatment.
Many factors can influence the outcome of a Texas vehicle accident. To protect your claim and receive the compensation you deserve, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to guide you through the litigation process. Check out our website to learn about gathering witnesses to strengthen your claim and, for more information, browse our frequently asked questions.