When Does Modified Comparative Fault Apply in Texas?

The aftermath of an automobile accident, no matter its cause, is filled with trauma, frustration, and pain. Needless to say, you will have plenty of stressors and various concerns to address without having to deal with insurance companies, mounting medical bills, and the potential of lost wages from missing work.

After a traffic accident in Texas, you may want to familiarize yourself with key state regulations and guidelines, especially if you intend to file a claim: from reporting a car accident in Texas to the statute of limitations for filing (two years from the date of the accident), there are a few essentials. Arguably the most important is how Texas’ fault rules may impact a personal injury claim.

Keep in mind that there are several types of motor vehicle accidents, and each requires a distinct approach to ensure that your rights are safeguarded and that you get the compensation you deserve. Please get in touch with our team if you have concerns regarding fault or want to learn more about how Texas law impacts your Dallas automobile accident claim.

Over the last three decades, our team at the Rasansky Law Firm has boasted a remarkable track record of accomplishment and trust with clients. Reach out to our lawyers and support staff if you have questions about how to move forward after an auto accident in Texas.

Accident Reporting in Texas

When Does Modified Comparative Fault Apply in Texas?All motorists involved in a collision in Texas must report the incident promptly to the local police, depending on their respective city or municipal regulations. Otherwise, Texas drivers should report auto accidents to the local sheriff’s office when in doubt.

It’s especially important to contact the authorities if the accident resulted in injuries or fatalities or if the damage to at least one of the vehicles involved prevents it from being safely moved from the roadway.

Texas does not require policyholders involved in a car accident to inform their auto insurance, though most policies do require the policyholder to report their accident as quickly as possible. The sooner the insurance company is informed of an accident, the sooner it can investigate or defend a claim. 

Plus, an insurer may deny coverage for a collision if the insured fails to report the incident within a “reasonable” period of time. In fact, depending on the circumstances surrounding a crash, an insurance provider may allow less than one week to report or file a claim after a car accident.

Even if your wreck was very minor and did not meet the Texas standard for a reportable collision, you should still notify your auto insurer. Being proactive assures that your insurance will provide coverage if necessary.

Auto Accident Liability Across Texas

Roughly a dozen jurisdictions have a no-fault system for vehicle accidents, which means that after a collision, drivers use their insurance coverage to submit a claim for injuries and some out-of-pocket expenditures, regardless of who was at fault. 

By contrast, the state of Texas is a fault or at-fault state. Basically, if you are injured in a car accident in Texas, you have access to a myriad of options. You may either file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the other driver.

Texas, like other states, requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage. If motorists aren’t able to maintain insurance minimums in the Lone Star State, they must prove their financial ability to cover a claim out of pocket in the event of an accident.

Does Comparative Negligence Apply in Texas?

If another driver was completely at fault for your car accident, the solution is often straightforward: the driver (via their insurance company) will compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and any remaining damages. But what happens when the aftermath of a collision is not so straightforward?

Texas employs a modified comparative fault standard when several parties are found to share fault for an accident. For instance, if a car accident case proceeds to trial, the jury will be asked to calculate the entire monetary worth of the plaintiff’s damages and assign a percentage of fault to each defendant based on the evidence. In other words, under comparative negligence rules or modified comparative fault, a plaintiff’s award of damages is reduced by an amount commensurate to that plaintiff’s degree of fault.

What is Modified Comparative Fault?

Imagine that the jury concludes that the entire amount of your damage award should be $150,000. (including your healthcare expenses, any lost earning potential or pay, vehicle and property damage, and so on). Yet, the jury also finds that you are 30% responsible for the collision (perhaps you were driving too fast for weather conditions or failed to signal).

According to Texas’s modified comparative fault law, you are entitled to 70% of the total damages, or $105,000. In this case, you would still recover a substantial sum, but it may fall short of your overall losses.

Due to the fact that Texas is a modified comparative fault state, you will not be eligible for compensation if you are found to be at least 50% at fault for the incident in question.

Call an Auto Accident Lawyer in Dallas

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a major vehicle accident, you must call a Dallas car accident attorney quickly. You may be eligible to receive compensation to offset upcoming financial commitments.

Our staff at the Rasansky Law Firm in Dallas has over three decades of experience aiding victims of accidents caused by negligent and irresponsible drivers. What’s more, our team of well-versed, well-respected attorneys provides our clients with trustworthy legal advice. We are prepared to thoroughly examine the specifics of your accident and evaluate your legal options.

If you were hurt in a car accident in Texas and have questions about how to move forward, contact our injury accident attorneys in Dallas at (214) 651-6100 for a free case evaluation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Remember that you owe us nothing until we win your case and you get the compensation you deserve.



2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201

Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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