Texas is one of 33 states in the country that recognize a modified comparative fault rule. This rule, called proportionate responsibility in the state of Texas, allows injured parties to recover damages if they are partially at fault up to a certain percentage. States with modified comparative fault rules have adopted either a 50% Bar Rule or 51% Bar Rule.
51% Bar Rule – An injured party cannot recover damages if they are found to be 51% or more at fault in the accident. If the party is 50 percent at fault, they can make a recovery. Texas is one of 21 states that adheres to the 51% Bar Rule.
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming follow the 51% Bar Rule.
50% Bar Rule – An injured party cannot recover damages if they are found to be 50% or more at fault in the accident. If the party is found to be 49 percent at fault, they can still recover.
Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia follow the 50% Bar Rule.
The injured plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by their degree of fault. If the injured party under the 51% Bar Rule modified comparative fault rule is found to be 50 percent at fault, for example, their recovery will be half of what the jury awards them.