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Can I sue if I am partly responsible for an accident?

If you sustain injuries in a car accident that was partially your fault, you may wonder if you can sue for damages.

The short answer is yes, but the court may reduce the amount of compensation you receive.

Determining negligence

To sue anyone for damages, you must prove that their negligence caused the accident. Each driver has a responsibility to pay attention to the road and do his or her best to prevent accidents. Someone who hits you while looking at his or her phone while driving, for example, is negligent. In fact, anytime someone does not exercise enough care to prevent the injury of someone else, he or she is negligent.

If you run a red light at the same time you were hit, however, you may also be negligent because you did not follow the rules of the road. Both examples show how a duty of care is breached and results in an injury.

Proportionate responsibility

According to FindLaw, Texas observes each party’s responsibility for the accident during a claim. This means that in the above example, each party is assigned an amount or percentage of fault for the accident.

As long as you are not more responsible for the accident than the other party, you can sue for damages. However, your compensation will decrease based on the amount of your contribution to the accident.

It is important to file a claim as soon as possible if you sustain injuries during a car accident. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. If you file after two years, you forfeit your right to any compensation.