All accident cases in Texas follow a standard guideline regarding how fault is determined and what damages injured victims can claim from those who are primarily at fault. Texas uses the modified comparative negligence law that sets the bar for denial of financial compensation for drivers at 51%, which means that two-vehicle equally shared fault accidents result in each driver being compensated for half of their total damages. Once fault percentages are established for drivers or potential vicarious liability parties, the court can then determine the amount each injured victim may be awarded.
Primary compensatory damages
Financial compensation in Texas auto accidents claims falls into two separate categories. The first is economic compensatory “special” damages. These claim amounts can be specified in exact dollars such as medical bills or physical damage to a vehicle. Lost wages can also be included when the claimant is unable to work due to the injury. Additionally, non-economic compensatory damages can also be claimed in cases that have a lingering life impact. These are essentially general damages for pain and suffering.
Serious injury or wrongful death car accident cases where the defendant or a third party has exhibited gross negligence could also justify a punitive damage award. Punitive damages are only awarded by a jury, and many times they can be reduced by the court. Also known as exemplary damages, Texas state law sets limits on these awards based on material case facts and other associated financial damage amounts.
Passenger claimants are not typically assessed for personal contribution in causing an accident except for under unusual circumstances. All injured drivers will have their total damage awards reduced by their assigned comparative negligence percentage.