Visitor Question

Rear ended by driver after I crashed into the center divider…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Texas)

I was traveling on the highway when I lost control of my vehicle due to weather and hit the center divider on the highway, causing damage to the front of my vehicle. After regaining control and getting over to the right lane to exit the highway I was rear ended, causing my truck to be totaled.

The driver that hit me stated that I had no tail lights and that’s the reason he hit me. The vehicle I drive has the auto light feature, which I keep on all the time, and the tail lights did work after the accident.

My questions: Is the other driver negligent for his inattention to his surroundings? How will the fact that I first had an accident with the center divider affect the second rear-end accident? How should I handle this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

From the facts you present, there may be joint liability. This means you and the other driver may share a percentage of negligence. Texas is considered a “modified comparative negligence” state when it comes to civil matters resulting in injuries or property damage.

Under Texas Civil Practice Code Section Sec. 33.001 “Proportionate Responsibility” – a victim in a negligence claim may recover compensation from another driver as long as the victim’s negligence does not equal 51%.

If it is determined your negligence in the collision was less than 51%, you are entitled to recover from the other driver compensation commensurate with the percentage of your damages. Damages can include your medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

However, in this case the “victim” may be you or the other driver. Determining the percentage of liability will likely be done by the insurance companies. In this case, it doesn’t appear there were any injuries. As a result, it is unlikely this matter will be litigated.

Speak with your insurance company and the other driver’s. Make every effort to convince them you were the victim in this collision. Unfortunately, in the end it will be up to both insurance companies to hash out who is responsible. Or if both parties were responsible, what percentage of liability should be apportioned to each driver.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: December 15, 2015

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