I Wasn’t At Fault In An Accident But My Passenger Still Wants To Sue Me. What Should I Do?

If you were involved in a Texas auto accident while driving, but did not cause the accident, under Texas law you are not responsible for the injuries and property damage arising from that accident. That includes injuries to passengers in your vehicle.

Some states are called no-fault states, where each driver’s insurance pays for their own injuries and car repair, no matter who caused the accident. But Texas is an at-fault state. In Texas, the driver who caused an accident is known as the at-fault driver. At-fault drivers (and their auto liability insurance) must pay for injuries and damages arising from the accidents they cause. Drivers who were not at-fault do not have to pay.

But it’s easier to file a lawsuit than to properly respond to one. As anyone who has been served a legal complaint knows, a minor threat can quickly turn into a big and costly hassle.

Defending a Texas auto accident lawsuit can require knowing:

  • Rules of Evidence
  • Rules of Tort Liability
  • Texas Insurance Law
  • How the Texas Legal System works
  • State and Local Traffic Laws
  • Automotive Engineering (in the case of mechanical failure)
  • Collision Expertise

That’s why when anyone credible is threatening to sue you, you should speak to an attorney to understand your rights and options.

Proving Fault In A Texas Auto Accident Lawsuit Can Be Complex

Some auto collision cases are clear cut, and the drivers and insurance companies quickly agree who is at-fault. But in many cases, the drivers disagree about who caused the accident. There even may be passengers and other witnesses who remember the accident differently. In some cases, more than one driver is at-fault.

Texas Liability Laws And Comparative Fault (Proportional Responsibility)

When there is more than one at-fault driver in a Texas auto accident, Texas law assigns a percentage of responsibility to each driver.

At-fault drivers may end up sharing financial responsibility for injuries and property damage arising from the accident. This is known as comparative fault (or proportional responsibility).

Under Texas law, a passenger is generally not considered at-fault at all. But the passenger can recover money from all the at-fault drivers in a lawsuit.

That means if the passenger in your vehicle says that you did something wrong to cause the accident, you may be faced with having to defend yourself in a lawsuit for their medical bills. That can be quite a bit to face on your own.

Also, an important to know fact: if you’re in an accident and the at-fault driver didn’t own the car he/she was in, remember that Texas is an at-fault state, and all Texas drivers must have auto insurance and pay for accidents they cause

At Justinian & Associates, we offer an entirely free consultation with an experienced Texas car accident attorney. Call, text or email us to set up an appointment. We will listen to your story and explain your rights under Texas law. There is no obligation.