Due to an accident involving at least three 18-wheelers and three smaller vehicles, southbound SH 130 was closed almost all day on Thursday, April 4. The accident occurred near the Pecan Street exit in Pflugerville, leaving one person dead and one person transported to the nearest hospital. In the event of such a large crash, it can be difficult for injured people to seek compensation, Depending on the situation, you may be able to try and hold multiple defendants liable for your injuries.
Fault Apportionment Is Key
Multiple-vehicle pile-ups can be difficult for the injured party to navigate because it can be so much more complex to untangle each actor’s liability or lack thereof. In a standard auto accident case, the plaintiff simply has to look at the defendant and determine whether or not their actions breached the duty to exercise reasonable care that every motorist owes to every other. If there are multiple defendants, the same process must be followed, but it can be too hard to tell who actually did what in such a large accident.
Whether you have one defendant or many, the most important thing to remember is that if you are ruled to have been liable for 51 percent or more of your own injuries, you cannot recover. This is referred to as comparative fault, and if your percentage is higher than that of the defendant or defendants’, you cannot recover, because arguably, without your mistakes or misconduct, the accident would not have happened in the first place.
How Is Liability Assigned?
If you are injured in an accident involving multiple defendants, and you decide to bring suit against more than one person, you may have questions about how any award would be apportioned, and how much each defendant would pay. Prior to 1995, Texas followed a doctrine called joint and several liability, which held that in cases with more than one defendant, any defendant could be held liable for the entire amount of a jury award.
However, the law has since been modified, and now, a defendant can only be held jointly and severally liable for the whole jury award if their specific percentage of fault is over 50 percent. If each defendant is held to be, say, 20-30 percent responsible, then a plaintiff would have to try and collect that amount of the award from each defendant, and that is not always possible, as some defendants are judgment proof (in other words, some defendants do not have the assets to cover paying out what they owe).
Call a New Braunfels Car Crash Lawyer Today
While the accident at Pecan Street was eventually cleared toward the end of the day, the repercussions of the accident may last a lifetime for the families of those injured and killed. If you have been in an accident with multiple defendants, contacting an experienced New Braunfels auto accident lawyer can help you navigate the process of seeking compensation. The Bettersworth Law Firm prides itself on fighting hard for every client. Call us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.