Can I Win A Lawsuit For An Accident That’s Partially My Fault?
Short answer: yes; however, it may not be easy.
Sometimes an accident clearly has only a single cause, such as a careless driver plowing into the rear of a car sitting and waiting at a red light. At the other end of the spectrum are complicated accidents caused by multiple mistakes made by various parties, such as a multiple car pileup.
In some cases, a person’s severe injuries are partially caused by the person’s negligent actions, such as an accident caused by confusion at a four-way stop sign or a workplace accident where the employee’s actions contributed to the accident. In these cases where a person’s actions partially caused their injuries, the injured person may bring a lawsuit against the other person or business for their share of the responsibility for causing the injuries, even though the accident was partially the person’s fault. However, these cases are complicated. That’s why it’s crucial to hire an experienced Texas accident attorney that knows how to maximize the value of your claim. The Morgan Legal Group has the experience and know-how to investigate and handle the most complicated cases - call (713) 969-5026 to schedule a free consultation.
The Elements of a Negligence Claim
In order to succeed with a claim for personal injuries caused by negligence, the following elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence:
You are owed a duty of care;
The duty of care was breached;
Your injuries were a foreseeable result of the breach;
The breach of the duty of care was the cause of the injuries; and
There were damages such as medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering.
The duty of care is easy to prove in most cases. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to people on the road, property owners owe a duty to keep their premises free of hazards, employers owe a duty to keep their employees safe, and the manufacture of products owe a duty of care to consumers. An example of when a case might fail on the element of duty is when the case involves unexpected trespassers.
Examples of violating a duty of care are failing to stop at a stop sign, not repairing a broken floor, inadequate security at your property, failing to implement or enforce a safety policy, or manufacturing a product that easily and unexpectedly causes an injury.
To succeed in recovering for injuries caused by negligence, plaintiffs need to prove that the injuries were caused by the accident, rather than being a preexisting injury or caused by another accident either before or after the accident. That’s why it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention after an accident.
Further, it is necessary to show evidence of your damages. Evidence of damages can be in the form of medical bills, reports from physicians, and expert testimony about your lifelong need for care.
An experienced accident attorney will investigate the accident, employ the right experts, collect the evidence needed, and work to help you collect a large amount of compensation, even if you’re partially at fault.
Comparative or Contributory Negligence
Some states apply a strict contributory negligence rule prohibiting a successful claim if you have even the tiniest partial responsibility for the accident. Other states, including Texas, allow comparative negligence claims based on the percentage of fault for each contributing person or company.
As an example, a drunk driver goes through a stop sign, hitting a vehicle in the side. The vehicle hit in the side is driving above the speed limit at the time of the accident. Further, an inspection of the drunk driver’s car shows that the brakes failed due to a manufacturing defect. If you were driving the vehicle that was speeding, you would likely still have a successful claim from the drunk driver and the car manufacturer based on comparative negligence.
This might seem simple; however, Texas law may allow these claims, but you must prove that you are less than 51% responsible for the accident. For example, if you were only driving slightly above the speed limit, it’s likely that your responsibility will be found to be lower than 51%, but if you were driving 150 mph, your responsibility might be more than 51%, and your claim would fail. The best way to ensure the success of your case is to hire a Texas accident attorney with experience handling comparative negligence cases.
Houston Texas Accident Attorney
If you’re partially at fault for an accident, it’s still possible to obtain a substantial amount of compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering. The Morgan Legal Group has the experience to handle your claim and goes the extra mile to ensure you get the justice you deserve - call (713) 969-5026 to schedule a free consultation.