The expansive views of the Texas roadways are truly unique, as the big skies of the Lonestar State draw thousands of motorists every year. With traffic comes an increased risk of accidents, however. A random car accident can have devastating effects on a family, especially if it results in serious injury or death.
To help mitigate this damage, drivers can familiarize themselves with how Texas courts approach car accident lawsuits. Knowing what to expect can help Texans prioritize their families in a time of grief.
How courts determine awards
A driver stops at a stop sign, signaling a right turn. As they see the intersection is clear, they receive a text message from their mom. Looking down, the driver begins to turn through the intersection as a speeding car comes from their left to blow through the stop sign entirely, hitting the distracted motorist. The driver at the stop sign sues the other for damages, claiming their speeding makes them liable for the crash. The speeding driver countersues, claiming that the other driver’s distracted driving makes them liable. How would a judge rule in this case?
Much of a judge’s ruling will depend on each driver’s lawyer, their arguments and the evidence collected in discovery. A judge will weigh these factors through the course of the trial then award damages based on Texas’ “50% modified comparative negligence” laws. These laws instruct a judge or jury to determine rewards based on one’s share of fault. As long as a driver was no more than half at fault for the accident, they may recover damages, but reduced to reflect their responsibility. In the above example, the judge may rule that the speeding driver was 70% at fault at the distracted driver 30%. The judge would award the turning driver damages, but reduced by 30% of the full reward.
Proper legal representation helps secure restitution
Drivers involved in a car accident likely have questions about legal options and liability claims. Contacting a local lawyer familiar with Texas car accident compensation laws may provide answers and insight. An attorney can help those dealing with injuries sustained in a car accident sort through dense insurance paperwork so they can focus on their health and recovery.