There are many car accidents where it is clear that one driver is 100 percent at fault. However, in some collisions, both the victim and the other driver share responsibility. When this happens, many personal injury victims are unclear about their right to recover compensation. Some may even think they are prohibited from receiving compensation because of their role in the crash.
Below, our accident attorneys in Sacramento explain what the law says about this type of car accident. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your rights after an accident.
California is one of many states with a comparative negligence law that governs situations where more than one party is at fault for an accident. However, unlike many states, California's law does not prohibit you from obtaining compensation if your percentage of fault is too high.
California follows a pure comparative negligence standard, which means you can recover compensation even if you are 99 percent responsible for the accident. Some states prohibit you from recovering compensation if you are more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
However, California law also says that your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This means that if you are 90 percent responsible for an accident, you will only receive 10 percent of your total compensation award. In other words, you would only receive $10,000 out of a total award of $100,000 if you were found to be 90 percent responsible.
This law also governs situations where there are more than two parties involved in the accident, such as multiple car pileups. When this happens, state law says that each party is only liable for its percentage of fault. This means that if one party is 20 percent responsible, it will be responsible for paying 20 percent of your total compensation award.
This law is usually applied in the courtroom when juries are attempting to assign fault for an accident. However, insurance companies often apply this law as well because they are looking for any way to reduce the amount of compensation they pay out to accident victims.
One of the advantages of working with a trusted injury attorney is that he or she has extensive knowledge of relevant laws and can work to ensure they are applied fairly.
The lawyers at the Arnold Law Firm have detailed knowledge of the pure comparative negligence law and how it is applied to accident cases. Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer right now to determine if you could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages. We take cases on contingency so there is no fee unless we obtain compensation.