You may be entitled to compensation after a car accident caused by a negligent driver. Your injuries may lead to medical bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, among other damages. However, your contribution to the accident may affect the settlement you can claim for your losses.
In some states, you cannot claim anything if you contributed to the accident, no matter how slightly. In others, you can claim compensation as long as you suffered damages from the accident. However, things work differently in Texas, as explained below.
Each driver’s contribution to the accident matters
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence law if the parties to an accident share responsibility. Your potential settlement is relative to your degree of fault or contribution to the accident. For instance, if it is determined your total damages are $1,000,000 but you were 30% at fault for the crash, you will only get $700,000.
Notably, you cannot recover anything if you were more than fifty percent responsible for the accident. As such, the other driver in the scenario above cannot claim damages since they were majorly at fault for the accident (at 70%).
Be keen during settlement negotiations
The fault laws apply across all claims, even those that do not make it to court. Insurance companies are well aware of these laws and will try to make them work to their advantage during settlement negotiations. Therefore, do not sit back and let everything run its course after making your claim.
You need to protect your rights and interests during the claims process. Determining fault is a major part of the conversation. Therefore, you ought to understand how everything works, given that it will likely affect your claim and your legal options should you need to escalate matters.