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Liability in a Texas Personal Injury Case

Liability in a Texas Personal Injury Case

Liability is one of the most important elements in a personal injury case. Liability determines who will pay for damages and who is responsible for the injury. In some cases, establishing liability is difficult. If two drivers are saying different things about an auto accident, for example, it may be challenging to determine which version is correct and who is liable. Additionally, in some cases, the liable party may not be the obvious party; third-party liability adds an interesting element to a personal injury case.  An experienced personal injury law firm like the attorneys at Briggle and Polan in Austin can help the victim of a personal injury determine if they have a case or not.

Who Did What? The Fault Factor

For most people, the term liability is synonymous with fault. When you’re trying to determine liability in a personal injury case, you’re asking “whose fault is it?” In many cases, the negligent party is apparent. In an accident where a driver strikes a pedestrian because he is on his cell phone and not paying attention, the driver is clearly at fault and is liable for the personal injury case.

But what if the driver attempted to stop, but his brakes went out? Then liability might shift to the car manufacturer, or a mechanic who recently serviced the car. These people might be added to a personal injury case as third-party defendants, because they share responsibility for the injury, even though they weren’t directly involved. Additional defendants in personal injury cases may be uncovered during the discovery process after a lawsuit is filed, but a good personal injury lawyer may recognize these types of liability issues even before discovery.

Comparative Negligence and Liability

In states that practice comparative negligence, both parties may share liability for an accident. Consider the pedestrian who was struck by a car. What if the pedestrian was also talking on the phone, and stepped out in front of the car without paying attention while the car had the right of way? In a comparative fault state, the driver might be mostly responsible for the accident, but the pedestrian might share a portion of the liability. Find Texas attorneys that have extensive experience handling a wide range of different injury and accident cases.

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