Injury Claims and Proportionate Responsibility in Texas
In Texas, a person injured due to someone else’s negligence may bring a claim or lawsuit against the negligent person or company. However, an injured person’s damages may be reduced due Texas’ system of proportionate responsibility.
Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Chapte 33Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code Chapter 33 identifies how Texas* system of proportionate responsibility works. Under a system of proportionate responsibility in negligence cases, a jury or judge (whoever is the fact-finder in a particular case) apportions responsibility among all actors in an incident. This allows an injured person bringing a lawsuit to recover damages while at the same time reducing that recovery by the percentage for which the injured person was at fault. So long as the injured person*s own responsibility does not exceed 50%, then the injured person is entitled to a recovery that is reduced by his responsibility percentage.
ExampleFor example, two vehicles are traveling in the same direction on the highway. The lead vehicle slows down to make a right hand turn, but fails to use a turn signal. The trailing vehicle then collides with the rear of the lead vehicle, causing severe head injuries to the driver of the trailing vehicle. The lead vehicle*s driver is uninjured. The driver of the trailing vehicle then files a lawsuit against the lead driver for $100,000. At trial, the jury awards the driver of the trailing vehicle $100,000, but believes the driver to be 40% at fault. Based on Texas* system of proportionate responsibility, the driver of the trailing vehicle can only recover $40,000 from the lead vehicle*s driver.