Are you considering filing a personal injury claim in Houston? If so, you’re not alone. Houston has the third-highest rate of personal injury claims per capita in the nation.
One thing you need to be able to establish in a personal injury claim is negligence. In legal terms, that means that your injury and residual damage resulted from someone else’s lack of appropriate care.
Before you file your claim, you should also understand the concept of comparative negligence and how that applies in Houston.
So, what is comparative negligence? Read on to find out.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal term that can impact the validity of your case. You may also hear it referred to as contributory fault.
Simply put, comparative negligence refers to the amount that the plaintiff contributed to the accident that caused their own injuries, and is measured as a percentage. The damages a plaintiff can receive are reduced in direct correlation with the amount that they contributed to the accident. For example, if you are found 10% responsible for the accident in question, you can only receive up to 90% of the damages related to your injuries.
The state of Texas uses the legal standard of modified comparative negligence. That means that you may only seek damages for an accident that you are less than 51% responsible for. In other words, if you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you will not be able to recover any damages.
What Other Factors Can Impact Your Accident Claim?
Comparative negligence isn’t the only thing that can impact the validity of your accident claim. One of the most important things to know is that you have two years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit. After that, your claim has surpassed the statute of limitations and is no longer viable.
In addition, the negligence of the defendant is only the first element you must establish to file a successful claim. You must also demonstrate that:
- the defendant’s negligence caused an accident
- the accident left you with significant and life-altering injuries
- the injuries in question have led to substantial financial strain
If any of these elements are missing, you will not be able to file a successful claim. For example, if you’ve sustained injuries but those injuries haven’t led to substantial financial strain in the form of medical bills, lost wages, and more, you will not be able to recover damages.
Come to West Loop Law for Houston Legal Help
Comparative negligence is only one of the legal standards you need to know to file a claim in civil court. The best way to prepare for a personal injury, car accident, or medical malpractice case is by hiring an experienced lawyer.
West Loop Law is proud to serve the accident victims of Houston, Texas. To schedule your consultation, contact us today.