Not too long ago, personal injury claims were structured much differently than they are now. Nearly all states used to practice what is known as “pure contributory negligence.” The rule of pure contributory negligence states that a person who is in any way at fault for their injury cannot recover damages from the responsible party. Even if the person seeking compensation was only minimally at fault for an accident, they used to be barred from being awarded damages for their injury. Most states — including Texas — have enacted some type of comparative negligence rule, allowing the claimant to recover compensation, even if they are found to be partially at fault.
Understanding Proportionate Responsibility
Rather than comparative negligence, the state of Texas uses the term “proportionate responsibility,” but they mean the same thing. Different states have different percentage amounts that a claimant can be liable for before they are barred from receiving compensation. In Texas, this is referred to as the “51 percent bar” because a claimant can still recover compensation from another person if they are 50 percent or less liable for the accident that caused their injuries.
Calculating Proportionate Responsibility Award Amounts
In cases that involve a claimant who is partially responsible for their accident, the jury is instructed to compare both parties’ negligence and come up with whole number percentage amounts that assign liability to each party. Consider a situation, for example, in which two people get into a car accident and the jury determines that the claimant is 20 percent liable for the accident and the other party is 80 percent liable for the accident. After all of the evidence is presented, it is determined that the claimant suffered $500,000 in losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The amount the claimant is entitled to collect would be reduced by 20 percent, leaving the other party only responsible for paying 80 percent, or $400,000.
Our McKinney, Frisco, Allen and Plano, TX Car Accident Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you have been in a car accident with a negligent driver, you should talk to a Collin County car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. Claiming compensation for a car accident is possible, but there are time limits that you must follow. At Burress Personal Injury Law, we are here to protect you and your family’s interests while you focus on recovering from your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our team, call our office today at 214-726-0016.
Burress Injury Law is a highly rated personal injury firm based in McKinney, Collin County, Texas. As of the date of this publication, we have recovered more than $150 Million on behalf of our clients. We have a winning percentage higher than 99.9% and we maintain a perfect 5.0-star Google rating after hundreds of client reviews. Our attorneys have tried more cases than any other injury law firm in Collin County.