About Texas’ Modified Comparative Fault Rules

PUBLISHED ON: March 7, 2024    LAST MODIFIED ON: March 8, 2024

Personal injury claims are handled a little differently in every state, especially when more than one party is at fault in an accident. In Texas and 31 other states, modified comparative fault rules apply, making this concept crucial for all personal injury victims to understand. Here’s a breakdown of comparative fault and how it might affect your compensation.

About Texas’ Modified Comparative Fault Rules

Examples of Shared Fault

Consider these situations where multiple parties share the blame:

  • A driver tailgates another vehicle, which turns suddenly without signaling. Traditionally, the tailgater would be to blame for the resulting collision, but in this case, the failure to signal plays a role, too.
  • A shopper engrossed in their phone doesn’t see a puddle on the floor and slips. If the store owner was negligent and failed to mark the hazard, both parties share the blame.
  • A pedestrian steps into the street where no crosswalk is present and gets hit by a speeding car. The pedestrian’s sudden move and the driver’s excessive speed both contribute to the accident.

Texas’ Modified Comparative Fault Explained

Texas law recognizes that accidents often involve shared fault. The state follows a “modified comparative negligence” system, which means that your ability to recover damages in a personal injury case depends on your level of fault compared to others involved in the accident.

In the examples above, comparative fault distributes liability among all parties based on their share of the blame. If a victim is found to be 50% or less responsible, they’re entitled to compensation, but the amount is reduced by their percentage of fault. Cross the 51% threshold, though, and victims are barred from recovering compensation.

Implications of the 51% Rule

Modified comparative negligence, or the 51% rule, stipulates that if a person is more at fault for causing an accident than the other party, they lose the right to collect damages. This rule emphasizes the importance of thoroughly investigating the accident and gathering evidence to accurately determine fault percentages.

The Role of Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Texas drivers often have personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their auto insurance, which can provide immediate coverage for medical expenses after an accident, irrespective of fault. This coverage is crucial for immediate financial assistance but doesn’t negate the importance of pursuing a claim if another party’s negligence contributed to your injuries.

Is Fault Disputed in Your Case? Hire Legal Representation

Given the complexities of Texas’ legal guidelines on comparative fault in car accidents, slips and falls, pedestrian accidents, and other personal injury claims, seeking experienced legal counsel is highly recommended. A knowledgeable attorney can help compile evidence, represent your interests, and ensure fault is assessed fairly. Nava Law Group leverages more than 150 years of combined legal experience and a successful track record of serving over 40,000 injury victims and their families. Our highly qualified and well-regarded personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to help you win your case, whether inside or outside the courtroom. Our 24/7 response team makes it easy to reach an attorney when you need us most. So don’t wait another day—contact us at 713.661.9900 to schedule a free consultation at one of our law offices in Houston, Bellaire, Edinburg, or Austin, TX.

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