Fault for a Dallas car accident in Texas will rest on the details of a claimant’s situation. In most situations, the person or entity that breached their duty of care and caused the accident is at fault.
If you were injured in a collision, you may choose to partner with a Dallas personal injury lawyer who can investigate the circumstances of your accident. They will need to use evidence to determine how your accident happened and who is responsible for your damages.
Potentially Liable Parties for Car Accidents in Texas
The liable party may be different in each car accident case in Texas. For example, let’s say that a driver was rear-ended by another motorist who was speeding. In this situation, fault would rest on the speeding driver who breached their duty of care to drive responsibly and safely.
In another situation, let’s say a driver was injured in an accident caused by faulty or defective brakes. In this case, fault may rest on the party that manufactured or installed the faulty vehicular component.
There May Be Multiple At-Fault Parties in a Single Accident
In some cases, more than one party could be considered at fault for the same accident under Texas’s proportionate responsibility laws. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001, if you were involved in a car accident, you may be assigned a percentage of fault.
As long as you are not more than 50% at fault for the collision, you can pursue compensation. However, your percentage of fault will reduce the amount of money you can receive.
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Causes of Car Accidents in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the following five actions or behaviors cause the majority of collisions in Texas:
- Failure to yield
- Alcohol intoxication
- Following too closely
- Disregarding traffic signs
According to Texas Transportation Code § 550.062, you may be required to file a police report after an accident. If the collision resulted in any injuries, fatalities, or property damage totaling more than $1,000, you must file a police report. As intimidating as this may sound, your lawyer may use the police report to advance your legal interests should you decide to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Driver Error Is Not Always the Cause of Car Accidents in Texas
The other driver may not be the only reason the car accident happened. Other parties that could have caused it include:
- A car part manufacturer: If it manufactured, designed, or marketed defective car parts
- A mechanic: If they failed to identify a problem with the vehicle or incorrectly installed a part
- Another road user: If a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist did not follow the road rules or adjust their behavior according to road conditions
Determining Fault in a Car Accident in Texas
Once you have an idea of who is at fault for the car accident, you must prove their negligence by applying these standards to your case:
- Duty of care: The other party was to act with prudence, keeping your safety at the forefront of their mind. In the case of a car accident, all road users owe a duty of care to other vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and others around them.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party was negligent and violated their duty of care.
- Causation: This negligence or carelessness led to a car accident.
- Damages: You have suffered injuries, accumulated medical expenses, and sustained other losses due to the crash.
Each of these factors must be present in your personal injury case. If you can’t prove one or more of them, you may not be entitled to collect compensation.
Forms of Evidence You Can Use to Show Fault in a Car Crash
You must facilitate your claims for negligence using strong evidence. Typically, types of evidence claimants use in their car accident cases include:
- The police report
- Traffic citations
- Traffic camera footage
- Photographs of the damaged vehicle, the scene of the crash, road conditions, and apparent injuries
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your medical bills and records
Your personal account of the car crash will also serve as evidence for your case. Write down everything you recall happening before, during, and after the event. Jotting down details about how the crash has affected you in the days and weeks following can be especially helpful in building your case. Consider including things, like:
- Your daily levels of pain
- Your mental health
- Your mobility
- How your relationships have been affected
- Your treatment regimen
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You Can Pursue Compensation from the At-Fault Party
When you team up with a car accident lawyer, they can determine who is at fault for your car accident in Texas. They can also evaluate the cost of your collision-related damages to determine the value of your case.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001, you are allowed to request compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Past and anticipated medical care costs: If you needed mobility aids, surgeries, pain medications, hospitalizations, follow-up care, physical therapy, or diagnostic exams
- Past lost wages: If you couldn’t go to work and earn a living if your injuries were too painful or debilitating
- Future loss of earning capacity: If you can only work part-time or cannot work altogether
- Pain and suffering: If your injuries cause discomfort or distress
- Disability: If the injuries you suffered meet the criteria for getting benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Mental anguish: If you’re suffering from sleeplessness, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health struggles from the accident
- Scarring and disfigurement: If your injuries have altered your appearance or restricted your mobility
- Loss of consortium, society, or companionship: If you lost your spouse in the car accident
A personal injury lawyer can represent your legal interests when they enter into negotiations with the liable party’s insurance company. They can use your employment records, medical bills, and property damage receipts to assert the cost of your damages. Their goal is to bring about a favorable resolution to your personal injury case.
You Must File Your Lawsuit Within Texas’s Statute of Limitations
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 is otherwise known as Texas’s personal injury statute of limitations. It generally allows you up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for financial recovery. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, you can legally seek compensation from the at-fault party as long as you do so within the two-year deadline.
Failing to meet the filing deadline could jeopardize your right to compensation in two ways. First, it can prevent you from filing your lawsuit at all. If you file your lawsuit outside of the two-year deadline, the courts may refuse to hear your case. Secondly, if you do not take prompt legal action, the at-fault party may not be legally obligated to compensate you for your losses. The financial burden of the collision and your damages could fall to you.
If a member of your family was fatally injured in a car accident, this same statute also applies to your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit. When you work with a Texas car accident lawyer, they can work on filing your case within the state’s appropriate timeframe.
We Can Define Fault for a Car Accident in Texas
You could be entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party whose negligence led to your car accident. At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we help car accident claimants get the financial compensation they are entitled to obtain. If you were injured in an accident or if a loved one was seriously or fatally injured, our team is on your side.
Contact the personal injury team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins by calling (877) 239-4878. We offer free consultations and don’t take any fees unless and until we obtain compensation for you.