In 2015, there was a car crash about every minute with more than 17,000 people suffering serious injuries. Unfortunately, there were also 3,531 deaths that year too.

Car accidents are all too common, and litigation around them can be costly, time consuming, and confusing. In Texas, car accidents are based on a theory of negligence. Negligence is the legal theory that a person owed a duty to another person, that duty was breached, and because of that breach the person was injured. In contrast, negligence per se is when a person breaks the law and that is evidence of carelessness in and of itself. This concept can be difficult to overcome for the offending party.

When someone is negligent, they are said to be liable. What that means is they are at fault, or they caused the accident. Proving someone is liable typically involves eyewitness statements, police reports, traffic cameras or any type of evidence. Sometimes, the accident is the result of both drivers.

When determining who is liable for the accident, the plaintiff, or the person filing the lawsuit, will have the burden of proof. That means the plaintiff must prove the defendant is liable for the accident.

The parties may decide to settle. This means the defending party will offer an amount of money to the plaintiff in exchange for the plaintiff agreeing to not file another claim or lawsuit. Settlements can be tricky and it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney because a variety of factors can make a settlement inappropriate depending on the circumstances of the case.

When filing an insurance claim, the insurance company will look at the actual cash value of a car, or what the car is worth at market value if it had not been destroyed or damaged. If the car is a total wreck, the owner should receive up to this amount from the insurance company. This should be compared to a total loss, which is when the estimated repair is more than the car is work at market value. Instead of repairing the car, the insurance company will typically pay out the value of the car.

The Takeaway: Understanding the language surrounding a car accident is important when deciding what to do next.

– The Litigation Team
Ethan | Mark | Chris

The Allen Firm, PC
181 S. Graham Street | Stephenville, Texas 76401
Ph: 254.965.3185 | Fax: 254.965.6539


The Allen Firm, PC is composed of a team of attorneys located in Stephenville, Texas. Our mission is to improve people’s lives by providing reliable and practical help with their legal matters while operating under our values of honoring people, operating with integrity and striving for excellence. We offer help in forming businesses or companies, estate planning, lawsuits, real estate, probate, oil and gas, collections, agriculture, bankruptcy, family law, and accident and injuries.


*This article has been written and provided for educational purposes in an attempt to provide the reader with a general understanding of the particular topic and area of law covered in this Article.  It is not to be relied upon for any purpose.  The reader acknowledges the underlying analysis and legal conclusions referenced in this Article may be inaccurate by the changing of the law or by a controlling court opinion to the contrary.  No attorney-client relationship exists until an appropriate engagement letter has been signed. Contact our Firm to discuss how the contents of this Article may apply to your specific situation.