Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Crash in Texas?

Two people arguing about their rear-end collision. Todd R. Durham Law Firm in Lewisville, Texas.
Photo by tommaso79 for Shutterstock

Car accidents of any kind can be unsettling events, and rear-end collisions are no different. Even though they are usually less major than say, a head-on collision, rear-end car accidents can still result in injury to the head, back, or other parts of the body, depending on the intensity of impact. In the state of Texas, what you may not realize is that the driver at the back of the accident is not always the one responsible. Here is more information on who’s the one at fault in a rear-end collision in our state.

A Common Misconception

When you were learning to drive, or probably in speaking with other people, you more than likely heard that no matter what, the person at the back of a rear-end collision is the one entirely to blame for what happened. What you may not realize, though, is that this is not always true here in our state, as Texas is a “modified comparative negligence” state. Negligence behind the wheel can take many forms, and the person in front of you could have easily been the negligent driver that caused the accident, due to stopping abruptly, or other unsafe driving behavior. However, you can still be partly responsible for the collision. This will vary of course on a case-by-case basis, but to sum up, the negligence breakdown is what’s going to determine how much of the damages can be collected between the two drivers, or even between a driver and their insurance company, if they are pleading their case to them that the accident was not entirely their fault. This is determined in court by the judge and jury.

The 51% Bar

This negligence breakdown is Texas’ unique form of modified comparative negligence: our “51% Bar.” In a dispute over a rear-end accident, the plaintiff in court must be 50% or less responsible for the cause of the accident in order to recover any damages. If they are even 1% over (51%), they cannot collect any damages to cover costs from the rear-end car accident. However, the less percentage at fault they are and can prove to a court, the more damages they can be awarded. This makes it vital to have the best rear-end accident attorney you can find on your side.

Call Me Today

I want drivers everywhere to know that if you are in a rear-end accident that was caused by the driver in front of you, you do not have to take the blame simply because you collided with them. Furthermore, you should get the insurance coverage you need and not get passed over by your company, just because they assume you are the guilty party. Call my firm today at (214) 222-4000. The Todd R. Durham Law Firm is located in Lewisville, but we serve all around the DFW area.

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