Texas, as with other states, has established specific laws that define what negligence pertains to in a personal injury claim. Under these laws, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for any injuries or damages sustained because of the negligence of another.
There are several statutes under Texas law that you should learn about if you intend on filing a personal injury claim in the state. Understanding these rules can make it more likely to recover damages for any injuries, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.
Modified Comparative Fault
When negligence has to be established, Texas uses a modified comparative fault standard to determine who is at fault and who receives damages. This is also known as proportionate responsibility. This means that the amount you receive may be reduced if you’re found to be partially at fault, as well.
For example, if you got into a car accident while texting with a car that ran a stop sign, you may be found to be 50 percent at fault. If they award you $30,000 in damages, you would reduce this amount by half, receiving $15,000.
There is also the 51 percent bar rule. This stops anyone who is 51 percent or more at fault for the accident and injuries from collecting damages.
Modified Joint and Several Liability Rule
Texas followed a traditional joint and several liability rules prior to 1995. This means that the plaintiff was liable for the whole amount of the plaintiff’s damages. This is even if the plaintiff was somewhat at fault.
In 1995, the state changed the law and now follows a modified joint and several liability rule. This makes it so the defendant is only liable for the full compensation amount of the damages if they’re 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.
The Elements of Negligence in Texas
Personal injury lawsuits have a legal standard that means to win the case, you have to do so by a preponderance of evidence provided. In criminal cases, the standard is proving beyond a reasonable doubt, which is harder to prove.
If you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you have to demonstrate these five elements:
- The defendant was supposed to act in a specific manner, but did not
- There was a breach of duty where the defendant did not do something, such as focusing on the road
- The injuries sustained were caused by this breach of duty
- It is obvious the act that was done or not done could have hurt someone
- You have suffered an actual hardship that can be compensated for
If these five elements can be shown in a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover damages under the Texas negligence laws.
Collect Your Damages With an Experienced Law Office
When collecting damages, you need an experienced law office that understands negligence laws in the state of Texas. Reach out to the professionals at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law.
Call the office at 800-488-7840 today to schedule a time to speak with our attorneys for a free consultation, or fill out the following online contact form. Know your rights and understand the laws put in place to protect you in the event of the negligence of someone else.