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Proportionate responsibility

When multiple people share some fault

Sometimes called "Contributory negligence"

In some cases, people are injured by the negligence of multiple other people. Consider this example: someone (we’ll call them “Plaintiff”) drives into an intersection because they have a green light; another driver (we’ll call them “Defendant 1”) runs a red light and comes speeding into the intersection; Plaintiff slams on their brakes to avoid a collision, but is then rear-ended by the person behind them (we’ll call them “Defendant 2”). In this case, Plaintiff did nothing wrong, but both other drivers probably committed negligence—Defendant 1 by running the red light, and Defendant 2 by following Plaintiff too closely.

In other cases, an injured person may themselves be partially responsible. For example, in the scenario above, if Plaintiff was speeding, Plaintiff may be partially at fault.

Texas follows a concept known as “proportionate responsibility.

The jury determines each person’s percentage of responsibility. The jury can divide responsibility among Plaintiff, Defendants, any person who previously settled out of the case, and even people known as “responsible third parties.” Plaintiff’s ultimate recovery, if any, is then reduced in accordance with how the responsibility is divided.

This concept is governed by Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 33. One big factor is Plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility, if any.

Under the law, Plaintiff cannot recover any compensation if their responsibility is greater than 50%.

Cronauer Law aggressively advocates for the rights of our clients who have been injured by someone else’s wrongdoing. We guide clients through the stressful and difficult task of rebuilding their lives after being unjustly injured. Contact Cronauer Law today for a free consultation.

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