Who Had The Right-of-Way?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2016 | Car Wrecks

Investigators have not yet assigned fault in a serious car crash on the Far Northwest Side that killed a vehicle passenger.

The wreck took place near the intersection of Braun Road and Wildhorse in Helotes. According to police, one vehicle was making an unprotected left turn into a subdivision when it was struck by an oncoming truck, which had a steady green light. A 62-year-old female passenger in the vehicle was killed almost instantly.

Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor.

Multiple Fault in Car Crash Cases

At its core, the duty of reasonable care means that drivers must take steps to avoid car crashes whenever possible, and the last clear chance doctrine is a logical extension of this concept. Last clear chance often applies when, for example, Vehicle A stops short or makes an unsafe lane change and Vehicle B rear-ends Vehicle A.

In these situations, and others like them, the last clear chance doctrine can flip liability, if the otherwise negligent driver had the opportunity to safely avoid a crash, by braking or changing lanes or other actions, but failed to take advantage of this opportunity. It is important to note that the driver must have the last clear chance to avoid the crash, as opposed to the last possible chance.

Many times, especially in intersection collisions, both parties are at least somewhat at fault. For example, Plaintiff may have partially disregarded a “yield” sign and Defendant may have been speeding.

Texas is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. In multiple fault situations, the jury must assign blame based on a percentage. So, if the jury determined that the defendant was 60 percent at fault, the plaintiff would receive 60 percent of the damages. But if the jury concluded that the defendant was less than 50 percent at fault, the plaintiff would receive nothing, because the defendant’s liability was below the cutoff.

In most cases, the jury is not told of the legal impact of its decision, so attorneys must be very aggressive in reducing the amount of liability charged to their clients.

For prompt assistance with a car crash claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in New Braunfels. You have a limited amount of time to act.