Responsible party pays in Texas.
Texas is a “fault state” which means that the party found to be responsible for the accident will have to compensate the other party involved in the accident. The basis for most civil lawsuits is negligence, and settlements are based on the degree of fault exhibited to cause the injuries sustained. “Fault” is based on the degree of negligence measured by an individual failing to exercise the degree of care expected of someone in a similar situation.
Comparative Negligence (51% Rule).
Texas utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Texas personal injury claim but if you were more than 51% responsible for the accident, you are not able to recover compensation for your accident expenses. Determining the percentage of the fault can be complex as it determines who will pay the compensation for the damage to the other person. Insurance company adjusters usually determine the proportional degree of fault after a thorough investigation of the accident.
If the injuries or damages exceed the coverage amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance, then the injured driver would be able to sue the negligent driver for compensation, based on the degree of fault applied to each driver in the accident. In a wrongful death claim the personal representative, or family members could initiate a legal claim for: economic damages; non-economic damages; and pain and suffering. Damages for personal injury and wrongful death claims include related medical bills, lost wages, property damages and funeral expenses when applicable.
A driver’s immediate action after an accident involving a tractor trailer may have some bearing as to how a legal case plays out in court. If a driver is able, they should check on the condition of the people involved in the accident and:
Always call the police when an injury or fatality occurs, the vehicle cannot move, a driver has no insurance, a driver leaves the scene, or a driver is operating vehicle under the influence. If you feel you might be in danger of interacting with a combative driver after an accident, remain safely in your own vehicle or away from the other driver until police arrive.
Seek legal counsel.
Seek legal counsel from an experienced professional attorney who understands trucking industry regulations. The Cooper Law Firm has the resources to determine the percentage of fault applied to each driver after reviewing police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident so they can move forward to a proper settlement that is unique to each truck accident case.