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How the Courts Determine Negligence in Car Accident Cases

Car AccidentsTo recover for injuries suffered in car accident cases, negligence of the other party must be proven. Texas courts usually define negligence as the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care under the circumstances. This definition applies to negligence in car accidents, collisions involving trucks and drunk driving accidents. Failing to use reasonable care can take many forms. Following a vehicle too closely, failing to maintain a proper lookout and driving too fast for conditions can all be forms of negligence.

Negligence Per Se

In some cases, violating a traffic law or safety regulation is automatically considered careless, or negligent per se. The carelessness must still be a cause of the collision. For example, speeding is a violation of Texas traffic statutes and may be considered careless behavior in and of itself. A drunk driving accident in which one party was above the maximum blood alcohol content of .08 percent can be considered automatically negligent.

In a trucking accident, a personal injury attorney will thoroughly review the actions of the truck driver to determine whether any violations of state or federal law were violated. Truck drivers have strict rules concerning how long they can drive before a break, weight limits on how much can be carried and how their trucks must be maintained. If a violation of these laws caused or contributed to the collision, recovery for the injured party is more likely.

Comparing Negligence

Courts in Texas will compare the actions of all parties involved in a collision and assign a percentage of blame to each party. The blame of the party being sued must be more than the blame assigned to the party bringing the lawsuit. The percentage of blame is usually assigned by the jury.

For example, Party A is injured in a trucking accident. Party A was traveling 2 mph over the posted speed limit. Party B was a truck driver who was driving inattentively and had been driving in excess of the time limits permitted by federal regulations. Party B did not see Party A enter an intersection through a green light and caused a collision.

Party A’s injuries totaled $200,000. The jury finds Party A was 10 percent at fault and Party B 90 percent at fault. Party A would be awarded $180,000 or 90 percent of the damages suffered.

Those injured in a car accident should seek the advice of a trustworthy Dallas accident attorney. The Barber Law Firm has extensive experience in all types of car accident cases, including drunk driving accident and trucking accidents.

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