When you’re the victim of a car collision or premises liability case, you may not know that your contribution to the incident can limit your ability to recover damages. Understanding how contributory and comparative negligence differs is vital to helping you understand whether or not you have a valid lawsuit on your hands. Keep reading to learn more about this and discover how a Tom Green County, Texas personal injury lawyer can help you receive the justice you deserve.

What Are Contributory and Comparative Negligence?

In personal injury cases, many states will look at the negligence on behalf of both parties in order to determine how damages are awarded. For example, if two drivers crash into each other because one was speeding and the other was texting and driving, they are technically both at fault. However, if the driver texting sues, they will need to determine how much their negligence contributed to the collision.

In some states, if the plaintiff is found to be even 1% at fault for the injuries they sustained, they will not win any damages, even if the defendant was responsible for 99% of the incident. This is contributory negligence.

On the other hand, comparative negligence allows the defendant to recover damages up to a certain amount. The rules are as follows:

  • Pure comparative negligence allows the injured party to collect damages minus the portion they are responsible for, regardless of who is most liable
  • The modified 51% rule states that you cannot collect damages if you are more than 51% responsible for the injuries you sustained
  • The similarly modified 50% rule bars someone from collecting damages if they are 50% at-fault

In most cases, the financial compensation you receive will be influenced by your negligence in the case. For example, if you were found 10% at fault and the damages total $100,000, you can collect $90,000.

What Does Texas Law Say During Personal Injury Cases?

In Texas, the law follows the modified 51% rule. This means those responsible for less than 51% of the damage can receive compensation. If someone is found 51% liable for their injuries, they would not be able to collect any damages. This means if both parties in a collision were equally responsible, they could both collect damages from each other.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Because your ability to recover damages is dependent on how responsible you are found, ensuring you have a competent attorney on your side is crucial. These cases can be challenging to navigate on your own, as one factor can be the difference between winning the amount you are owed or being barred from collecting any compensation.

If injured due to the negligence of another party, ensuring you content the Mathis Law Firm as soon as possible is essential. Our firm has the experience you need to help you navigate these claims, as we understand how expensive medical care can be. Our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you get the justice you deserve. Reach out today to learn how we can help you.