In Texas, a driver and/or passenger can sue if they were injured in a truck accident. However, the state requires someone to be at fault for causing the victim’s injuries or the lawsuit won’t go anywhere. That person or company at fault is usually the truck driver or their company. The state still requires the victims to prove negligence occurred even if it painfully obvious.
Negligence is Proven in Four Steps in Texas
Negligence, the failure to act as a reasonable person would if they were in similar circumstances, makes a person liable for a truck accident. A truck accident injury lawyers in Texas has the burden of proving the trucking company or its employee (truck driver) was liable in the accident. The first element to prove is the wrongful party had a duty to the accident victim to avoid causing harm or an accident. Every driver has a legal duty while operating a motor vehicle. This legal duty involves not driving distracted and obeying all traffic rules. The wrongful party breached the legal duty to protect the accident victim. This means the driver or trucking company did something wrong to violate their legal duty. For example, the trucking company ordered the truck driver to drive longer hours than allowed by law. The driver caused the accident. The wrongful party was the direct or indirect cause of the accident. Their actions led to the accident victim’s injuries. This means the accident victim would not have been hurt if it wasn’t for the truck driver or trucking company. Once those things are proven, the accident victim can prove damages.
Shared Fault can Decrease a Jury Award
Shared fault occurs when both parties had some fault in causing the accident. For example, the driver of a passenger car may have failed to yield at a stop sign. The truck driver may have run a red light at the same time and the accident happened. A truck driver or truck company can use a defense to prevent paying money to an accident victim because of shared fault. This defense is called modified comparative negligence. Modified comparative negligence looks at the shared fault to assess percentages. A percentage of fault may be given to the accident victim based on what a jury determines. They have three options when determining shared fault: the injured person did nothing wrong, they were less than 50 percent at fault or they were more than 50 percent at fault. An accident victim who was less than 50 percent at fault will receive a decreased jury award. For example, if the accident victim was found 15 percent at fault for the accident, 15 percent is deducted from the total jury award. If they were more than 50 percent at fault, they receive nothing. It is important to meet with a lawyer to determine how to proceed with a truck accident. Modified comparative negligence may not come in play in every truck accident in Texas. Thus, an injured person will receive all their damages.