Car accidents often result in significant financial hardship, from medical costs to lost wages. If another person’s wrongful or negligent act caused an accident where you suffered injuries, they may be liable for your losses.

While the opposing party may not face criminal charges for causing your accident, you can still hold them accountable by filing a personal injury claim to recover your losses. Our attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker, LLP, will be here to help every step of the way. Whether you need high-quality medical care, a copy of your accident report, or other resources, our team can assist you. 

We know we have what it takes to recover the compensation you deserve. We have recovered a four million dollar settlement for a mother and daughter rear-ended by a plumbing van driven by an unlicensed employee. Contact our office today so we can put our knowledge and resources to work for you.

How Determination of Fault Works in a Car Accident

After a car accident, finding out who was at fault is one of the top priorities. In most cases, this means proving one party’s negligent or wrongful act caused the accident. To prove someone was negligent, the plaintiff, or party filing the lawsuit, is responsible for establishing four distinct elements: 

  1. Duty of care, 
  2. Breach, 
  3. Causation, and 
  4. Damages. 

First, all drivers owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. Thus, proving a driver owed a duty of care is typically straightforward.

Second, you need to show the other driver breached their duty of care when they failed to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. One way to establish that a driver breached their duty of care is by showing they were violating traffic laws at the time of the collision.

Third, you must prove the breach was a direct cause of the collision and that the crash resulted in your losses. You can do this by proving that your injuries would not have occurred if the at-fault driver had not breached their duty of care. This element prevents victims from seeking compensation for injuries they sustained outside the crash. 

Fourth, you must prove you suffered financial losses due to the at-fault party’s negligence. For example, if the collision results in damage to your vehicle, the costs of your repairs are a form of financial loss. You cannot recover in a personal injury claim if you do not suffer any losses.

Remember, you need to prove every element to successfully show the defendant was negligent.

Does Fault Affect My Potential Recovery?

In many car accidents, both involved parties are partially to blame. If the judge or jury determines you are partially at fault for a crash, it will affect your recovery at trial. Texas utilizes the rule of modified comparative negligence to determine whether a party can recover for their accident. This means you can recover through a personal injury claim as long as you are less than 51% responsible for the collision. Your judgment is reduced by your portion of the blame.

Accident Fault Determination in Certain Types of Collisions

Determining who was at fault for an accident is critical to proving your personal injury claim. The determination of fault in your accident will depend on the details of your case. The type of accident can sometimes make it easier to determine who caused the collision. Different types of collisions are discussed in more detail below.

T-Bone Accidents

A T-bone car accident occurs when one vehicle runs into the side of another vehicle with its front end. Actions that contribute to T-bone collisions include:

  • Failure to obey traffic signals,
  • Failure to heed a stop sign, and
  • Trying to speed through a yellow light.

You can typically show another party was at fault for the collision if you prove they committed one of the actions listed above. Information contained in the accident report, eyewitness testimony, and photographs of the accident scene can help you prove your claim.

Rear-End Accidents

A rear-end car accident happens when one car collides with the rear of the vehicle in front of it. In the United States, there are more than eight million car accidents per year, with rear-end collisions accounting for about 40% of all accidents between two vehicles. Typically, the vehicle that strikes the one in front of it is at fault for a rear-end collision. However, determining fault depends on the circumstances of your case.

Blind Spot Accidents

A vehicle’s blind spot is an area of your surroundings that you cannot see through your front windshield or with your rear-view and side-view mirrors. Typically, cars have two primary blind spots near the rear tire on both sides of the vehicle. Drivers should check their blindspot before changing lanes or making a turn. Otherwise, they may be at fault for a blind spot accident.

Contact Armstrong Lee & Baker Today to Discuss Car Accident Fault Determination

In most car accident cases, determining who is at fault for the collision relies on proving that someone was negligent. While some licensed attorneys struggle to explain the concept, our team at Armstrong Lee & Baker has more than a decade of experience fighting for victims injured in car accidents. Our team is committed to holding the at-fault party responsible for your financial losses. We will not rest until you obtain the compensation you deserve. Armstrong Lee & Baker does not consider our clients just another number. We take the time to meet with our clients individually so we can craft a legal strategy for your specific needs.

We know that car accidents can drain a victim both emotionally and financially. Our team will take care of the complexities of your case so you can focus on healing from your injuries and moving on with your life. Scott Armstrong, one of our founding partners, focuses primarily on helping personal injury victims recover their losses. Scott was selected as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star in 2022 for the sixth consecutive year, a recognition reserved for only 2.5% of attorneys in Texas.

Author Photo

C.J. Baker represents victims with serious injuries and has won millions of dollars for victims of 18-wheeler crashes, oilfield equipment failures, offshore platform explosions, and defective medical devices. C.J. graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2016. He was an editor of the Texas Tech Law Review and a top national trial and moot-court advocate.