Can Multiple Parties Be Liable for a Car Accident in Texas?
Determining Who Is at Fault in Texas Car Accident Cases
When multiple vehicles are involved in a car accident, liability can get complicated. It is not unusual for more than one party to have some portion of fault or culpability. If you are seriously injured in an auto accident, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney to determine if you have a valid claim for damages against a negligent party.
At Scott Callahan & Associates, our lawyers represent individuals who have been seriously injured in car and truck accidents. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients, providing clients and their families with the personalized, compassionate representation they deserve.
Call our office today at (713) 888-9000 for a free consultation.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
When another party’s negligence causes an auto accident that results in serious injury or death, they must be held accountable. There can be a single defendant or multiple parties that may have some portion of responsibility for the accident.
Potential defendants in car accidents include:
- Other drivers
- Auto and auto part manufacturers
- Governmental agencies
- Other responsible third-parties
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GOT REAR-ENDED AND HIT SOMEONE ELSE?
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common forms of auto accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions accounted for over 30 percent of the total crashes in a single year. In many cases, when a person hits someone else from behind, they will be held accountable for resulting injuries or damage.
However, there are some circumstances where another party may be held responsible for a rear-end collision. For instance, in a triggering event or chain reaction where you are rear-ended and forced into another vehicle, the liability may be placed on the driver that caused the initial collision.
WHAT IF I WAS PARTIALLY AT-FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT?
Most states recognize that car accidents may be caused by several contributing factors. Only a few jurisdictions follow a pure contributory negligence rule, which bars recovery for a plaintiff whose negligence contributed to the accident. Luckily, Texas follows a Comparative Negligence Rule meaning that a person is not completely barred from recovery if they are partially responsible for an accident, unless they were 51% or more at fault. It is also known as the 51% rule.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.001, a person may not recover damages if their proportionate responsibility is greater than 50 percent. Thus, as long as your culpable conduct (percentage of fault) is 50 percent or less, you may still recover damages against a responsible party or parties. Your damages, however, may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of responsibility.
For example, if the jury awards a plaintiff $100,000.00 but finds the plaintiff 50% responsible, the plaintiff will only recover $50,000.00. However, if the jury awards a plaintiff $100,000.00 but finds the plaintiff 51% (or more) responsible, the plaintiff does not recover anything.
CONTACT SCOTT CALLAHAN & ASSOCIATES FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact Scott Callahan & Associates for a free case consultation. Call (713) 888-9000 or fill out our online contact form to speak directly with an attorney.
Founding partner Scott Callahan is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For over 25 years, he has been helping individuals and families obtain compensation for their injuries. Contact our office today to discuss your case.