San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers » “Last Clear Chance” as a Personal Injury Defense
What is the Last Clear Chance Doctrine, and How Can it Affect my Case?
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligent conduct of another party, you may be able to recover for the damages you have suffered. The specific circumstances that led to your injury will determine what must be proven in your cause of action for your theory of recovery to be successful. This is why it is important that you obtain skilled legal representation to ensure that your claim is successful.
As you can imagine, in every lawsuit there will be obstacles that your claim will encounter that may stand in the way of your ability to get the recovery you deserve. There are many defenses available to the party you file suit against. This is even more of an issue if the defendant has an attorney formulating arguments to avoid being held liable for your losses. One of these defenses that could potentially be used against you is the Last Clear Chance Doctrine. However, with an attorney who knows this area of the law fighting for you, your case can defeat these defenses because this doctrine may also be utilized to your advantage. The attorneys at our Law Offices have been handling personal injury cases for over twenty years and have the necessary training and expertise required in these types of lawsuits.
The last clear chance doctrine is a legal concept that is used in certain jurisdictions depending on the model that the particular location uses to evaluate the fault of different parties involved in a lawsuit. It basically allows a plaintiff filing a lawsuit to recover even if they are negligent and contribute to the accident if the defendant had the last opportunity to prevent the accident from occurring.
Although the doctrine is used widely in other jurisdictions, Texas traditionally favors using modified comparative fault in order to draw a broad analysis of fault in an accident. This can be to your advantage because in Texas the fault of both parties is evaluated and then each party will be allotted a percentage of the blame. Texas law permits a plaintiff to recover so long as you were not over 50% responsible for the accident that occurred.
Therefore, there is no need to determine who had the last opportunity to avoid the accident in order to gauge whether or not you may still recover for your losses, as you may recover regardless. This can be difficult to discern depending on the circumstances of the accident that you were involved in.
To illustrate, if there was a car accident and a number of negligent drivers were involved, each driver may be allotted some portion of blame. If you are found to have been negligent then whatever percentage is attributed to you will be deducted from your recovery.
These concepts can be incredibly confusing because of the difficulty that arises when determining the negligence of the parties and ultimately what recovery should be granted. This is why it is so crucial that you obtain an attorney that is familiar with this area of the law and these legal mechanisms and is capable of using them to your advantage. Personal injury cases often involve serious injuries that can result in physical, emotional and financial difficulties. The attorneys at our Law Offices have been litigating personal injury lawsuits for over two decades and are dedicated to ensuring that our clients are satisfied with our legal services. To discuss your potential cause of action, contact us at any time!