You are driving along and then out of nowhere you spot a car driving recklessly. Before you know it, you are involved in a crash. At that moment, people must be cared for and medical assistance should be called for the injured. The assessment of the damage is made to determine if a wrecker must come to move the vehicles out of the street. The drivers and passengers are rushing to exchange information and take photos.  Sometime after the immediate rush of activity comes the question. Who was at fault?

Partial Fault?

The basic rule is this. The driver who was the most negligent is considered to be at fault. However, it is not always that easy. Sometimes both drivers show negligence. In order to determine who was most at fault, it must be taken into account where everyone was. If one of the cars was in the wrong lane, going the wrong way on a one-way street, or driving in the wrong turning lane and that caused an accident, that will be considered.

Texas has what is called modified comparative negligence. This means if each driver is partially at fault, each will be partially financially responsible. However, if one party is 51% at fault, they cannot receive compensation, even if the other driver is partially at fault.

Damages That You Are Entitled To If The Other Driver Is At Fault

There are many different kinds of compensation your attorney can seek on your behalf. They include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Medical expenses
    • Including medications, tests, equipment needed while in treatment
  • Property repair or replacement
  • Lost wages and future lost wages that you may incur due to the accident
  • Loss of job or business opportunities
  • Modification to your home or vehicle that is required for you due to a permanent injury
  • Caregivers that are required while recovering at home

It is rare for a judge to award punitive damages in a car accident. However, if the driver did something so outrageous and so careless that punishment should be applied, the judge can award punitive damages.

Why You Need An Attorney?

Texas laws about car accidents are complicated. You can file a “first party” claim with your own insurance company, you can file a “third party” claim with the other driver’s insurance company, or you could file a lawsuit to sue the driver of the other car.

An experienced attorney knows the rules, laws, and time limits. He or she will know the avenue to take to get you the most compensation possible. People can hurt their own case by saying the wrong thing during a statement. People assume if they are open and honest, they will be treated fairly. The fact is, their job is to pay out as little as possible. If they can use your own statement against you, they will. You are well advised to speak with an attorney before you speak to the other driver’s insurance company.

If you go up against an insurance company, they will have an attorney. In order to level the playing field, you need a car accident attorney on your side.