Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler February 22, 2016

People who need a Houston car accident lawyer usually do not want to hear arguments about fault or liability. They just want to hear what the lawyer can do to help them to get the compensation they need to get back on their feet. Even in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the kind of car wreck lawyer Dallas residents want is one that can win the case and get the money they need to fix their car and pay their medical bills.

Luckily for the people of Houston and Dallas, the state of Texas is not a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. That means that drivers who cause accidents can be sued and victims can receive compensation. The fact that a Houston car accident lawyer can represent their client in an accident case does not prevent the need to establish fault. When it comes to establishing fault, there are usually three methods that are used, and the outcome of your case can depend on how fault is established.

Methods of Establishing Fault

Comparative Negligence

Fault is established by the insurance companies, and it is done in a variety of ways. Comparative negligence pays compensation based on how much fault you are assigned. For example, if it is determined that you are 75 percent at fault for the accident, then you would only get 25 percent of any compensation awarded to you. In this type of fault, both parties can get compensated, but they are compensated based on their relative negligence.

Modified Negligence

The car wreck lawyer Dallas residents want is one who will fight in a case of modified negligence. That is because you have to avoid a certain threshold of fault to be able to file a claim. For example, if your state requires you to be below 40 percent at fault to file a claim and you are deemed to be 50 percent at fault, then you cannot file a claim. The state of Texas uses a combination of comparative and modified negligence in car accident cases. If you are deemed to be 51 percent or more at fault in Texas, then you cannot file a claim.

Contributory Negligence

In a contributory negligence setting, you cannot file a claim if you are deemed to have any fault at all.

How to Fight a Fault Determination

Collect Data

Insurance companies establish fault, but fault can be changed in a court of law. If you want your accident fault determination to be changed, then you need to collect data that can help you to prove your case. This includes getting the official police report, having pictures of the accident scene immediately after the accident happened, getting the names and contact information of witnesses, and keeping copies of your medical records.

Hire a Lawyer

No one should ever try to fight an auto accident fault case on their own. If you are going to fight the insurance company, then you need to hire a professional attorney to represent you. It is important to remember that you do not have to accept the insurance company’s findings. You can get your day in court, and you can get the compensation you deserve.

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