Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of negligence by one or more drivers. An accident victim seeking to hold someone responsible for negligent driving will typically need to prove four things. These are the defendant's duty to the victim, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. A driver may breach a duty to use reasonable care while driving in a variety of ways, such as by texting while driving, talking on the phone, driving while fatigued, driving after drinking alcoholic beverages, or tuning the stereo. In some cases, drivers may be held negligent per se (negligent as a matter of law) based on violations of the Texas Transportation Code that cause an accident.
Similarly, an interstate truck driver who fails to follow the regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may be negligent per se. The FMCSA sets forth numerous rules about how many hours a commercial truck driver may drive in a day or week, and it requires that commercial truck drivers maintain log books verifying their hours worked. A driver may be negligent per se if the driver violates a safety statute or regulation, the violation causes injuries to someone who is a member of the class the safety rule was intended to protect, and the injuries are of the type that the safety rule was intended to prevent.
Sometimes an employer is vicariously liable for a negligent driver. This means you can likely recover compensation from the employer if you prove that the driver was negligent while in the course and scope of employment. For example, if you are rear-ended by an 18-wheeler driven by someone fatigued on the job, you may be able to hold the employer of the driver vicariously liable. If it turns out that the driver has a history of falsifying logbooks and drunk driving, you may also be able to hold the employer directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring or negligent supervision.
Sometimes more than one driver contributes to an accident. A defendant may turn around and claim that you were partly at fault. In that case, the jury will be asked to determine your total damages and also assign percentages of fault to the defendant and you. You can potentially recover compensation as long as you are less than 51% at fault. However, your recovery will be reduced by your amount of fault. For example, if your total damages are $100,000, and the jury assigns you 20% of the responsibility, you still may be able to recover up to $80,000 from a defendant. An experienced trial attorney can help persuade a jury to see the accident from your point of view so that you can recover the full extent of damages that you deserve.Consult an Experienced Fort Worth Lawyer for a Motor Vehicle Accident Case
If an insurance adjustor for an at-fault driver contacts you, you should be wary of giving any sort of statement or answering questions. Often, insurers try to obtain admissions from a victim so that they can reduce their exposure or offer a much smaller settlement than what a case is worth. Fort Worth motor vehicle accident attorney Bill Berenson understands the hurdles that victims may face after a car or truck crash in Texas, and he is a staunch advocate for their rights. He also represents injured individuals and their families in Dallas, Houston, Arlington, Addison, Irving, Richardson, San Antonio, Austin, Lubbock, Frisco, and other cities throughout Tarrant, Dallas, Harris, Bexar, Collin, Denton, Hood, Lubbock, Parker, and Travis Counties. Contact us online or call us at 888-801-8585 to set up a free consultation with a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.