In 2010, a mother her teenage son were killed in a car accident that might have been brought about by street racing. As indicated by KIAH-TV Houston, Mayra Torres was driving with her son and six-year-old daughter in a minivan when Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Office investigators stated that they were hit by a Chevy Tahoe while turning at an intersection. Authorities stated that the seventeen-year-old driver of the SUV might have been street racing, as the vehicle had left tire marks for a number of feet. A detective informed KIAH-TV that witnesses had supposedly seen the driver of the Tahoe racing with another vehicle. As stated by KIAH-TV, the Tahoe’s three teen passengers allegedly endured minor injuries, and Torres and her son died at the scene. Torres’ daughter survived the collision, but was in critical condition.
Car Accident Claims
In a car accident case, comparative and contributory negligence are defenses that enact when time arrives to distinguish two main topics:
- The extent to which every driver was in the wrong for the crash, and
- How much economic liability, if any, every driver will assume for damages originating from the crash.
In a normal car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that the defendant’s carelessness or negligence brought about the crash and that the defendant should be held responsible for the plaintiff’s damages, including any injuries and vehicle damage.
In reply to the plaintiff’s claims, the defendant could use the rules of comparative and contributory negligence to establish that the plaintiff played a part in instigating the car accident. If used effectively, comparative and contributory negligence might decrease a plaintiff’s economic recuperation, or even obstruct it entirely. While the two defenses share a few resemblances, there are main variations between comparative and contributory negligence.
The state of Texas adheres to a comparative negligence law in conjunction with thirty other states. It is the foundation for filing a Texas personal injury claim. Comparative negligence separates fault between the plaintiff and defendant according to a percentage. For instance, a man alleges that a woman is indebted him damages because she ran a red light and struck his car. In reply to the man’s claims, the woman might prepare a comparative defense. She might allege that the man made an unlawful turn and should never have been in the intersection. Therefore, he assumes some percentage of liability for instigating the accident. The case proceeds to trial, and the jury finds that the man acquired damages of $100,000. The jury additionally finds that the man was thirty percent liable for the accident, and the women was seventy percent liable. Under comparative negligence rules, the woman must pay the man $70,000.
Different states have different comparative negligence rules. However, the two most frequent rules are as follows:
- Pure Comparative Negligence. In pure comparative negligence jurisdictions, a negligent plaintiff might recuperate payment from any other party who assumes some extent of liability for the car accident, despite the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault. Even a plaintiff who is found to be ninety percent at fault for an accident might still recuperate payment for ten percent of his or her damages.
- Modified Comparative Negligence. In states that adheres to modified comparative negligence rules, a plaintiff will be forbidden from recuperating any damages in any way if he or she is considered to be at least fifty percent liable for instigating the car accident. However, a plaintiff whose share of liability is anything at most fifty percent keeps the right to obtain payment, in an amount up to the percentage of the other party’s fault.