I was in a truck accident and my lawyer kept talking about comparative negligence. What does that mean?
There are several types of negligence. Comparative negligence is a rule of law used in accident cases to determine who is responsible for the accident, and to figure out damages based on the negligence of the defendant and plaintiff.
Several years ago, Texas was a contributory negligence state. Contributory negligence meant that an injured person who was found to have any negligence of their own that contributed to the incident was barred from making a claim, that is, they could not win in court against a negligent defendant. Interestingly, it was found over time to produce unfair results, leading several states to adopt a comparative negligence test which determines percentages of negligence by a plaintiff and defendant and applies the percentage to damage recovery.
In Texas, the jury is generally asked three questions for the most basic claims. First, they are asked which parties’ negligence contributed to the incident. Second, if more than one party’s negligence is found to have contributed to the incident, then the jury is asked to apportion the responsibility between parties. For this, the jury must give a percentage of responsibility for each party, with the total adding up to 100%. Third, the jury is then asked to decide what amount of money is needed to compensate the plaintiff for his or her harms and losses.
The court then uses the answers to enter a final judgment. Let’s assume a simple case where the jury finds both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent, that the defendant was 75% responsible and the plaintiff was 25% responsible, and that the amount necessary to compensate the plaintiff for his losses was $10,000.00.
Here, the defendant is only responsible for his portion of the losses so the defendant would be liable for 75% of $10,000.00, which is $7,500.00. It is important to note that if the plaintiff is more than 51% responsible for the losses, then the plaintiff is barred from making any recovery at all.
There are other types of negligence as well.
Negligence itself is defined as a failure to exercise the care toward others that a reasonable person would do, or taking action that a reasonable person would not. Negligence is inadvertent and can result in a variety of accidents resulting in property damage and/or injuries.
To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove: that the party had a duty to the injured party, the defendant’s action or inaction was negligent, and that damages were caused by the negligence. Also considered is whether the damages were reasonably foreseeable.
If an injury is caused by an accident, but no one knows how the accident happened, negligence may be found according to the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitor” (the thing speaks for itself). Each state has a different method of handling negligence. Negligence is one of the biggest causes of litigation in the nation.
Negligence per se refers to when the defendant is negligent for violating a specific law. For example, a driver may be found to be negligent per se for violating rules about texting and driving, or a dog owner in a dog bite claim may be negligent per se for violating laws that require dog owners to keep their dogs restrained.
Gross negligence means a reckless indifference or disregard for the lives and safety of others and is so bad it is close to being committed with malice aforethought. If gross negligence is found to be present in a personal injury case, it can often result in the award of punitive damages in addition to special and general damages.
Other Truck Accident FAQs:
- According to the police, my accident was the result of a blow out. Who gets sued in that situation?
- Am I supposed to call the police after being in a truck accident?
- Am I supposed to talk to the trucking company’s lawyer and insurance people?
- An insurance representative for the trucking company called me and said they were willing to offer me a settlement. Do I agree to take the settlement?
- Are fatal trucking accidents fairly common?
- Are heavy trucks supposed to be inspected regularly?
- Are there common causes for accidents involving big rigs?
- Are tractor-trailer accidents always head-on collisions?
- Are truck accidents common in Texas?
- Aren’t insurance companies supposed to help me get a fair and equitable settlement?
- Can I get a lot of money for my Texas truck accident?
- Can I settle with the trucking companies and their insurance carriers after the accident?
- Can I sue the truck driver that caused my accident and left me in a wheelchair?
- Can I talk to the trucker after the accident?
- Can I wait to contact a trucking accident attorney until after I am out of the hospi
- Do big rigs carry insurance?
- Do federal rules and regulations that apply to trucking companies and their employees cover the number of hours they are allowed to drive?
- Do I actually have to sue to get compensation for an accident?
- Do I have to contact a trucking accident attorney immediately after an accident, or can I wait until I recover?
- Do I really need to hire a lawyer for a trucking accident?
- Do I really need to hire a lawyer to handle a trucking accident case? Won’t the at fault party take care of my expenses?
- Do I really need to hire a lawyer to handle my trucking accident case?
- Do truckers and trucking companies have to have insurance?
- Do trucking companies have to comply with any government rules?
- How are big rig drivers negligent?
- How can trucking companies and truckers be held responsible for an accident?
- How come truck accident lawsuits are so complicated?
- How do I prove liability in a truck accident that resulted in severe injuries for me and my passengers?
- How is liability determined in a trucking accident?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit in a trucking accident case?
- How much money may I be entitled to if I win my trucking accident lawsuit?
- How would I know if my truck accident was caused by mechanical failure?
- I did not look properly when I pulled out from a stop sign and was hit by a truck. The police say I am partially responsible for the accident. Nonetheless, I was badly injured. Am I still able to recover damages?
- I don’t have a high paying job and really don’t have much money to pay a lawyer. I was involved in a bad accident with a trucking company and have serious injuries. I don’t know what to do because I don’t have the money to hire legal representation. Do I really need an attorney?
- I overheard a conversation the other day discussing truck “no zones.” What does that mean and why is it important?
- I think the truck driver that caused my accident was driving under the influence. Does that happen a lot?
- I was a passenger in a car, driven by my husband, which was involved in a collision with a semi. The police deemed my husband to be partially responsible for the collision for running a red light. My child is injured and I need surgery. What are my rights?
- I was in a bad accident with an 18-wheeler. My neighbor said I could save myself time and money by just dealing directly with the trucking company’s lawyer. Is that true?
- I was in a truck accident and my lawyer kept talking about comparative negligence. What does that mean?
- I was in an accident with a commercial truck. Do I need a truck accident attorney?
- I was involved in a serious accident with a semi and would like to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for my injuries. What could I possibly recover?
- I was involved in a truck accident in Austin. Is there a deadline I have to meet to file a lawsuit?
- I was involved in an accident with a big rig. Who can I sue for compensation for my injuries?
- I was involved in an accident with a commercial truck just outside of Houston. Am I able to claim personal injury damages?
- I was involved in an accident with a refrigerated truck. Can I file a lawsuit for damages and my injuries?
- I was involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. What happens now? What do I do?
- I was recently involved in a bad collision with an 18-wheeler. I never expected the kinds of injuries I sustained. What makes truck wrecks different from passenger vehicle accidents?
- I was recently involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. The insurance adjuster is calling me and asking for a statement. Is it OK to give a statement?
- I was seriously injured in a car/truck accident? What compensation may I be entitled to from the courts?
- I was told by my neighbor who was in a car accident last year that my personal injury case, which involves a big rig, is going to be different to handle. Is that true, and if so, why?
- If I am eligible for compensation, what will that include?
- If I am entitled to compensation, just what might I expect to receive? What is recoverable?
- If I am involved in an accident with a commercial truck and the driver is deemed at fault, can I sue his or her employer for any injuries that I sustain?
- If I choose to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for my injuries sustained in a trucking accident, do I ask for compensation from the trucking company or the trucker?
- If I do choose to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for my injuries sustained in a trucking accident, who is held responsible?
- If I have been in an Austin truck accident, how soon do I need to hire a lawyer?
- Is an investigation done after a truck accident?
- Is it just 18-wheelers involved in the vast majority of trucking accidents?
- Is there a difference between a commercial truck, an 18-wheeler and a big rig?
- Isn’t just the truck driver responsible for an accident, and not the trucking company? They were not driving the truck.
- It looks like I am going to be in hospital for a lengthy period of time after my accident with an 18-wheeler. How soon do I need to hire a lawyer?
- It looks like the trucker does not have liability insurance. Does that mean I cannot file a lawsuit?
- My friend was involved in a truck accident and his lawyer said something about the truck driver’s duty. What did he mean?
- My husband was involved in a trucking accident and died at the scene. What compensation might I expect for his wrongful death?
- My trucking accident was serious and I may not be able to walk again. My child was badly injured as well. Who do I talk to about this?
- My uncle was involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler and he’s still in the hospital. Does he need to hire a truck accident attorney?
- My vehicle does have air bags, but when a truck hit me recently, the air bags did not deploy. Can I file a lawsuit against the air bag maker?
- My wife was hit by something her lawyer called a “runaway truck.” What does that mean and how does it apply to my wife’s personal injury lawsuit?
- Should I consider a trucking company’s offer after a truck accident?
- Should I trust the insurance agent who has been calling me after a truck accident?
- Since trucking companies likely have lots of insurance does being involved in an accident with a big rig possibly mean I would obtain a larger settlement?
- The injuries I received in a recent truck accident were minor and I was treated at the scene. Why would I need to contact a lawyer?
- The news seems to be full of stories about truck accidents. Why does it seem like there are so many accidents involving big trucks?
- The police suggest that I was partly to blame for the trucking accident I was involved in. What does that mean for me? Does it rule out being able to obtain compensation for injuries?
- The trucker that hit my vehicle told the police she fell asleep at the wheel. Can she be held responsible for driving while fatigued?
- The trucking firm’s lawyers have been calling me almost daily since the accident. What do I do?
- Trucks cannot come to a stop as fast as regular passenger vehicles. Is that true?
- What are the laws in Texas regulating big rigs?
- What are the most common causes of big rig accidents?
- What are the most common reasons for big rig or commercial truck accidents?
- What can I expect after a trucking accident on the part of the at-fault party and his or her insurance company?
- What causes truck accidents? Is it usually the same thing, like a driver texting while behind the wheel?
- What constitutes negligence by the trucker?
- What constitutes truck driver negligence?
- What do I do if I am involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle and am seriously injured?
- What do I do if I was hit by a truck driver that police said was high or drunk?
- What does the term “No-Zone” mean?
- What is considered a truck in Texas?
- What is negligence in a truck accident? What actions can be regarded as negligent?
- What kinds of damages would I be eligible to seek as a result of a personal injury caused by a trucking accident?
- What kinds of injuries are common in a truck accident?
- What kinds of settlements are possible after being involved in a big rig accident? Are settlements/jury awards higher for these types of accidents?
- What vehicles are considered trucks when filing a lawsuit?
- What’s the difference, if any, in a situation that involves a car crash versus a collision with a big rig? Isn’t an accident an accident — period?
- Who can be sued in a trucking accident?
- Who can be sued in the aftermath of a commercial truck accident?
- Who does a lawyer sue in a trucking accident?
- Who gets sued in big rig accidents?
- Who is responsible in a trucking accident? Would it be the trucking company or the driver or both?
- Who is sued as a result of an accident involving a big rig?
- Why are accidents involving a commercial truck more likely to cause serious injuries than accidents with another passenger vehicle?
- Why are big trucks so dangerous?
- Why are commercial trucking accidents involving passenger vehicles so common?
- Why are trucking accidents worse than car accidents?
- Why do I need to retain a trucking accident lawyer right after an accident? What’s the rush? Can’t it wait?
- Would my trucking accident attorney use expert witnesses to prove fault in my big rig accident?