I may have been partly at fault for my car accident - does this mean I have no case?

Not necessarily.  Many times, even if you are partly at fault for an auto accident, you can still have a case. 

Here is the way it works under Texas vehicle accident law:  If there is evidence that you share some blame for your car crash, and if your case goes to trial, the jury will be asked to decide what percent you were at fault and what percent the other party was at fault.  Of course, the percentages must total 100%. 

If the jury decides you were more than 50% at fault for the wreck, then you will not be able to recover any money damages.  So, even if the jury awards $100,000, you will recover zero.

If the jury decides you were between 1 and 50% at fault, then any damages the jury awards you will be reduced by your fault percentage.  For example:  If the jury indicates you were 25% at fault, then the money the jury awards you will be reduced by 25%.  So, if the jury awarded you $100,000, you would only be able to recover $75,000. 

If the jury decides you were not at fault, then you can recover the full damages the jury awards.

The fancy legal word for this rule is:  "contributory negligence."

Of course, most cases do not end up going to trial -- they reach a settlement.  The lawyers, corporations and insurance companies involved in vehicle accident cases have a lot of experience trying to predict what a jury will or will not do.  Most of the time, parties to car accident litigation are able to agree on a money settlement.  If there is evidence that you are partly at fault for your car wreck, that will likely reduce the ultimate value of your settlement.  How much depends on the evidence of how much at fault you were for the crash.

If you have any questions about the partial fault rules under Texas auto accident law, please contact us and our experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyers will help you.


Vuk Stevan Vujasinovic
Experienced Injury Lawyer. First Generation American. Life-Long Texan. Husband. Father.