Contributory Fault

More than one person can be at fault when an accident occurs. When an injured victim shares responsibility with another person, it can impact the compensation they receive for their injuries. This situation is known as contributory fault.

For instance, if you slip and fall on a slippery floor while grocery shopping, the grocery store may be to blame because the slick floors pose an unreasonable risk. But if you were running when you slipped, you may also be considered partly to blame.

Every state adopts a specific approach to contributory fault. There are three main approaches that states generally choose from: contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence, and modified comparative negligence. Texas follows the modified comparative negligence approach.

Three Primary Types of Contributory Fault

Three Primary Types of Contributory Fault

Contributory fault laws determine whether a partially at-fault party can recover compensation for their injuries and, if so, the amount they can recover. Because these laws can greatly impact your ability to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses, it’s important to have an understanding of how they work.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is the strictest approach to shared fault. In a contributory negligence state, the injured party cannot recover any compensation if they were even just 1% at fault in an accident.

Only a couple of states follow this approach, such as Maryland. 

Pure Comparative Negligence

Pure comparative negligence laws are the most forgiving. They allow an injured party to recover compensation against another at-fault party, regardless of the injured party’s degree of fault. 

However, their compensation can be reduced accordingly. For example, sharing 25% of the blame can reduce the victim’s damages by 25%.

States following this approach include California, New York, and around 10 others.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Modified comparative negligence laws are a compromise between pure comparative negligence and contributory negligence. Under these laws, an injured party may recover compensation if their degree of fault is less than 50% or 51%, depending on the state.

Many states employing this approach bar recovery if the injured party is 51% or more at fault, including Texas. Some states bar recovery if the injured party is 50% at fault or more instead, such as Colorado.

Texas’s Modified Comparative Negligence Approach

Texas has a modified comparative negligence standard with a 51% bar. That means you can recover compensation if you are up to 50% at fault in an accident, but you are barred from recovering any compensation if you were 51% at fault or more. 

If you are able to recover compensation, it will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault (just like in a pure comparative negligence framework). 

How a Friendswood Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been blamed for an accident in Friendswood, TX, it can affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. As explained above, you could be barred from recovering any compensation or have your compensation reduced.

A skilled personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers will fight to reduce your liability and help you recover full compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Friendswood personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. You can call us at (281) 992-8633.