Getting hurt in a serious accident can leave a victim with long-term health problems and mounting medical bills. When a Texan cannot work and is stuck with the financial hardships of an injury-causing accident, they may quickly feel the economic pressures that accident victims suffer in addition to their personal harm. Seeking the recovery of their damages through a personal injury lawsuit may be a reasonable option for them to overcome their hardships.
However, during a personal injury lawsuit, a victim may encounter claims of comparative negligence or “proportionate responsibility” from the defendant. This is an important concept that can impact how much the victim can recover in damages. This post will generally discuss proportionate responsibility in the context of negligence-based personal injury claims, but readers should understand that this post does not offer any legal advice.
Who is at fault?
When an accident happens, one of the most important matters that may be disputed and argued in court is who was at fault for causing the accident to occur. A victim may claim that the defendant was fully responsible for the accident. The defendant may claim that the victim was partially to blame for the incident. In Texas, the proportion of responsibility or fault that a victim has for their own injuries can drastically change the amount of damages that they can recover.
Comparing the fault of the parties
If a victim is found to have been under 50% responsible for the accident that caused their injuries, then they can recover the percent of their damages that were caused by the defendant. However, if they are found to have been more than 50% responsible for their own injuries, then they may not recover any damages from the defendant. Only when a defendant or pool of defendants is 100% responsible for a victim’s losses will the victim have the chance to recover 100% of their damages.
Negligence and proportionate responsibility are complex legal concepts. No victim should have to work through these matters on their own. Their trusted personal injury attorneys can help them establish strong claims for the recovery of their injury-related losses.