Contributory Negligence

When a lawsuit is brought for damages caused by an accident, the judge or jury must decide who caused the accident, since more than one person may have been negligent, including the person who is bringing the lawsuit. When the person bringing the lawsuit is found to be at fault or partially at fault for causing his or her own injuries, Texas follows the doctrine of "contributory negligence." In a "contributory negligence" state, the judge or jury decides how much fault should be allocated to each person responsible for an accident, and then apportions the amount of damages accordingly. Thus, if a person is found to be 50% at fault for causing his own injuries, then the other party or parties responsible will only have to pay 50% of the plaintiff's damages, based on the percentage of fault assigned to each of them. If a plaintiff is found more than 50% at fault for causing his own injuries, the court will bar recovery. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.001.

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