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What Happens When You Are At Fault for a Car Accident in Houston?

What Happens When You Are At Fault for a Car Accident in Houston?

Being involved in a car accident is a stressful experience. It can become even more challenging if you are at fault, legally and financially. But what happens when you are at fault for a car accident in Houston, Texas? 

Understanding how fault may impact your accident claim and compensation for injuries or losses is crucial in a personal injury claim.

What Does It Mean to Be At Fault for a Car Accident in Houston, TX?

Being “at fault” can have significant legal and financial implications for you or a loved one. In car accidents and auto insurance claims, being “at fault” for the accident means that your actions or negligence were its primary cause. This could involve a range of behaviors, such as speeding, texting while driving, driving under the influence, or ignoring the road. If your actions cause an accident and injury to others, the consequences can be severe.

Understanding Texas’s Fault-Based Insurance System

Texas follows a fault-based or “at-fault” insurance system. This means the driver who caused the car accident is typically responsible for paying the damages incurred by other parties. These damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

In Texas, drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

This insurance covers the other party’s damages up to the policy’s limits if you are at fault. It is often not enough to cover all damages in serious accidents. This means you may be personally responsible for paying. Common damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.

How Is Fault Determined in a Houston Car Accident?

Determining fault after a Houston car accident is a major part of the investigation. Determining fault requires identifying which party or parties were responsible for causing the accident. You must assess fault before resolving any insurance claims and legal disputes arising out of the accident.

In Texas, this process requires considering many factors, such as state laws, evidence from the accident scene, and expert testimony. 

Valuable evidence includes:

  • Photographs and Videos: Images capturing the accident scene, vehicle positions, road conditions or traffic signs and signals.
  • Skid Marks and Debris: Photos or reports of skid marks, debris, and the paths taken by vehicles and their points of impact.
  • Police reports: Reports documenting an officer’s observations, diagrams of the accident scene, and statements from drivers and witnesses. An officer may even opine on who was at fault.
  • Witness statements: Statements from people who witnessed the accident can provide unbiased accounts of what happened.
  • Experts: Experts may use evidence from the scene and other data to recreate how it occurred and provide an opinion on who is at fault.

Determining fault in a car accident is a nuanced process that requires thoroughly examining different evidence. If you or a loved one have been involved in a Houston car accident, a Houston car accident attorney can help.

What if you were only Partially at fault?

You may be only partially responsible for the car accident. In this case, you may still recover compensation for your injuries or losses from other drivers. This is because Texas adheres to a modified comparative fault rule.

Under this rule, you can recover damages in a Texas car accident if you are not more than 50 percent responsible. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault because you were speeding and the total damages are $10,000, you can only recover $7,000. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you will be barred from seeking compensation.

This can have costly effects on your recovery and financial situation. Be sure to speak with a Houston car accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident where you believe you may be at fault.

What To Do After My Houston Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident can be a confusing and stressful experience. However, your steps immediately after the accident can significantly impact your safety and any subsequent legal or insurance claims. 

After an accident in which you think you may be at fault, consider doing the following:

  • Check for Injuries and Report the Accident: Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed for any injuries. Texas law requires you to report any accident involving injury, death, or significant property damage.
  • Exchange Information and Document the Scene: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved.
  • Photograph the Accident Scene: Document the accident scene with photos or videos, including vehicle positions, traffic signs, and road conditions.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be construed as an admission of liability. Determining fault is complex and should be left to investigators.
  • Notify Your Insurer: Inform your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with the information collected at the scene.
  • Contact a Lawyer: Contact a Houston car accident lawyer for a free consultation. A lawyer can protect your rights, advise you on issues related to fault and liability, and ensure that evidence is collected.

Taking these steps can help protect your right to compensation, even if you are determined to be at fault for the accident.

Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer if You Believe You’re at Fault 

Being at fault in a car accident in Houston, Texas, can have significant legal and financial consequences. For this reason, it is important to understand the steps to take after an accident, how fault is determined in Texas, and the implications of being fully or partially at fault.

Each accident is unique. The specifics of your accident can significantly impact the outcome of any insurance claim or legal proceedings. Schedule a free initial consultation with a Houston car accident lawyer if you or a loved one have been in a car accident.

Contact the Undefeated Houston Car Accident Law Firm of Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact our Undefeated car accident attorneys in Texas at Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Harris County, Midland County, and throughout the state of Texas:

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
2700 Post Oak Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77056
(888) 603-3636

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Midland
306 W Wall St Suite 701, Midland, TX 79701
(432) 220-0000