Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or business, they should be able to recover various types and compensation for their injuries and other losses. This is true for premises liability claims, instances where the actions of a property or business owner cause harm to someone else. However, what happens if an injury victim is partially responsible for contributing to their own injury?
At Johnson, Zegen, Scott & Williams, PLLC, our team wants to discuss contributory negligence laws in Texas. In particular, we want to discuss the comparative negligence law in this state.
When it becomes apparent that more than one party was at fault for an injury-causing incident, every person involved will have to look at how much liability should be assigned to each individual. Throughout the US, this scenario is handled in various ways.
A few states around the country still use a “contributory negligence” system. This means that a person will be barred from recovering any compensation if they shared ANY fault for the incident, even if it was just 1% of the fault. The contributory negligence system has been seen as relatively harsh, and most states have done away with it altogether.
Most states in the US use some form of “comparative negligence” rule when determining liability after an injury occurs. In these systems, a person can still recover compensation even if they are partially at fault. Some states allow recovery of compensation even if a person is up to 99% involved (pure comparative negligence), but most states typically prevent a person from recovering compensation if they are 50% or 51% or more responsible for the incident.
The state of Texas operates under modified comparative negligence law. In this state, a person can receive compensation for an injury if they are partially involved, so long as they are less than 51% to blame for the incident. In other words, if a person is more than 50% at fault for their own injury, they will not be able to recover compensation.
However, the total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, suppose a person is injured in a grocery store slip and fall after they slipped on a broken jar of pickles. If the person incurs $10,000 worth of medical bills, they should be able to recover this compensation if the grocery store was at fault for causing the incident. However, what if the slip and fall victim was sending a text and staring at their phone at the time the incident occurred?
In this scenario, the victim may share some of the faults because they likely could have avoided the broken jar of pickles had they been paying attention. If a jury determines that the injury victim was 30% at fault for the incident, then they would receive $7,000 in total compensation instead of the $10,000 to account for their percentage of fault.
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a property owner in or around the Dallas area, reach out to the team at Johnson, Zegen, Scott & Williams, PLLC for help today. Even if you are being blamed for causing your own injuries, we want to step in and advocate on your behalf. Our goal is to help ensure that you receive coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Dallas personal injury lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at 214-295-2900.