Two 18-Wheelers Accident in Tyler, Texas
Two 18-wheelers collided near Tyler, Texas in late December of 2013. One vehicle was a flatbed Mack truck and the other was a logging truck. The driver of the Mack truck allegedly failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign, and pulled into the path of the logging truck. Sadly, the driver of the logging truck, 59-year-old Archie Lee Moore, was killed in the accident.
What if more than one person is at fault?
Sometimes, there is not only one single party to blame for injuries. What happens when multiple people or companies are responsible for the harm you occurred? How the liability is divided between the responsible parties depends on in which state you are at the time. In Texas, the general rule is that any party that is responsible for more than 50 percent of the harm is jointly and severally liable with the right of contribution. f the plaintiff is less than 50 percent responsible for his or her own injuries, then the plaintiff can recover damages minus whatever percentage he or she is at fault for his or her own injuries.
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Joint and several liability allows plaintiffs to sue defendants for the entire cost of the plaintiff’s claim, regardless of the defendant’s proportional share. In Texas, the rule is that once a trier of fact – that is, a judge or jury – determines that a defendant is more than 50 percent at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries, then the plaintiff – who is the injured party – can recover all of the costs from that defendant. For example, say that two drivers hit your car at the same time, and you were only able to sue one of the drivers, Driver A. If the judge or jury determined that Driver A caused exactly 51 percent of your injuries, then Driver A is jointly and severally liable with the right of contribution. This means that, even though he is only 51 percent responsible, you can recover 100 percent of the damages for all of your injuries from him.
We say that Driver A has “the right of contribution.” This means that if Driver A is 51 percent liable and Driver B is 49 percent liable, and if Driver A has to pay the injured party 100 percent, then Driver A can request that Driver B repay him up to 49 percent of the damages. This policy of making one of several guilty co-defendants pay for all of the injured person’s damages may seem slightly unfair. However, it fits with the overall point of the system. That is, it makes sure that those who are innocent and injured due to the negligence, recklessness, or malice of someone else are not the ones that suffer.
If you have been injured, please contact one of our experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.
Tyler Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at Brian Loncar Lyon Jenkins
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