How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Houston

If a recent car accident injured you, you may be wondering where you’ll get the money to pay your medical bills. You’ll probably worry about how you’ll pay your household bills if you can’t work because of your injury. If the other driver caused the crash, you could file a car accident claim with their insurance company to pursue the money you need.

Texas is an at-fault car insurance state. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay for the other party’s losses after a crash. These losses include medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and more.

However, knowing how is fault determined in a car accident in Texas can be complicated. The process involves analyzing evidence from the crash scene, reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and more. Insurance companies, police officers, lawyers, judges, and juries can all play a role in deciding fault.

Calling the Police to the Scene Is Crucial

After any car accident, your priority should be seeking medical attention for yourself and other injured parties. But calling law enforcement to the scene is also critical.

The responding officers will secure the area, interview drivers and witnesses, and complete an official car accident report. To know how is fault determined in a car accident, the police report will include key details like:

  • Date, time, and location of the crash
  • Contact and insurance information for involved drivers
  • Extent of vehicle damage
  • Road, traffic, and weather conditions
  • Statements from parties and witnesses
  • Citations issued or laws broken

After a certain amount of time, the police will contact you to provide you additional information of their investigation. For your records, be sure to request a copy of the report from the police department that responded to the scene.

While police reports are not legally binding, insurance adjusters rely heavily on them when investigating the accident and determining fault. If the report indicates the other driver was speeding, made an illegal turn, or committed another traffic violation, which led to the crash, it could influence the determination of fault.

If you later need to file a car accident lawsuit, Texas law prohibits the crash report from being used as evidence.

How Do Adjusters Determine Who is at Fault?

Insurance claims adjusters conduct their independent investigations when deciding which party is liable for a crash. Their goal is to clearly understand how the accident occurred and who is at fault.

During the investigation, the insurance adjuster could :

  • Visit and document the crash scene
  • Obtain a copy of the police accident report
  • Take photos of vehicle damage
  • Analyze vehicle repair estimates
  • Review your medical records and bills
  • Interview witnesses
  • Consult with accident reconstruction experts
  • Examine cell phone records for signs of distracted driving
  • Look for video surveillance footage of the crash

Based on the findings of the investigation, the insurance company will decide whether their policyholder is at fault and how much compensation they owe the injured party. Sometimes, you can say the wrong information to insurance adjusters. Learn what not to say to insurance adjusters so as to avoid lowering the compensation owed.

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are always looking for ways to limit payouts and settle claims as cheaply as possible. The other driver’s insurer may try to pin unfair blame on you, arguing that your negligence contributed to the crash.

An experienced car accident attorney can help level the playing field and handle these bad-faith insurance tactics. Your lawyer will gather evidence of the full extent of your losses and aggressively negotiate for the compensation you deserve. If not, how is fault determined in a car accident relies on how the judge decides on your case based on comparative negligence law.

Texas’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law

In some accidents, both drivers share a percentage of fault. Perhaps one driver was speeding while the other made an improper lane change, and both actions contributed to the crash.

Texas uses a modified comparative negligence law to address situations where more than one party is liable. Under this law, you cannot recover compensation if you are more than 50% at fault for the accident.

However, if you are partly at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your assigned percentage of blame. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but found to be 40% at fault, you would only take home $60,000.

That’s why it’s so critical to have strong evidence of the other driver’s negligence, such as:

  • Photos, videos, and other evidence from the accident scene
  • Witness testimony stating the other driver was at fault
  • Citations issued to the other driver for traffic violations
  • A convincing accident reconstruction report

An experienced Houston car accident lawyer will know how to compile the right evidence to build a persuasive case and fight allegations that you share blame for the crash.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Houston

Proving fault in a car accident claim often becomes a challenge, especially when liability is disputed or shared between parties. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can stand up to the insurance company and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we will:

  • Investigate your accident to determine the cause and collect vital evidence
  • Review crash reports, medical records, and photos to establish liability
  • Interview witnesses who can support your side of the story
  • Consult experts who could provide compelling testimony on your behalf
  • Handle all communications with insurance adjusters
  • Negotiate for a full and fair settlement
  • Take your case to trial if the insurance company won’t settle for an appropriate amount

Read more: Why Should Should Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident

Consult an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident can overwhelm anyone. But you don’t have to tackle your claim on your own. Let our team take on the legal details while you concentrate on your recovery.

When you contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury, you can expect our team to take a compassionate and attentive approach to your case. We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your situation, and we’ll provide personalized guidance based on our extensive experience in handling car accident cases. We’re committed to putting our resources to work for you, advocating tirelessly on your behalf every step of the way.

If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries in a car crash in Houston, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. Reach out to the dedicated Houston car accident attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury now. Call 512-580-8334 for a complimentary consultation. Put our team to work for you.

Related Reading

How to Measure Shared Fault In A Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident

How to Dispute Fault After a Car Accident

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