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Share of blame can color recovery in TX car-pedestrian accidents

Perhaps you've heard the statement that if you get rear-ended it's always the fault of the driver in the last vehicle. That may be true in many cases, but not necessarily in all of them. One-hundred percent of the blame is unlikely to be assigned to just one person.

Proper assignment of blame after an accident requires a full investigation to truly suss out the details of what occurred and why. And interestingly, the same may be true in accidents in which a pedestrian is injured or killed by a motor vehicle. The inclination might be to immediately lay all the fault all at the feet of the vehicle driver, but the pedestrian might not completely avoid having to take some responsibility.

The concept in play here is called comparative negligence. Here's an example for how it might work in the case of a pedestrian accident.

Suppose you are walking along a busy road at night and decide you need to cross over to the other side. As a pedestrian, you might be of an understanding that you have a particular right-of-way and that therefore drivers of vehicles are obliged to stop for you. But if you choose to cross at a point other than at an intersection -- whether it is marked or unmarked, or has signals or not -- the law may work against you.

If you are struck and injured and seek recovery, a jury might find that you share some measure of the blame for what happened. And under state law, a person making a claim can't recover damages if that person's percentage of fault is found to be greater than 50 percent.

At the same time, if a claimant happens to be found 20 percent at fault the amount of eventual total damages can be expected to be reduced by 20 percent.

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