California’s comparative negligence law, also referred to as the comparative fault law, states that a person can recover damages from a car accident even when partially to blame for the crash. Suppose an individual is found only to be 30% liable for the accident. Due to the comparative negligence law, they will only be responsible for paying 30% of the damages in the accident.
However, it is also important to note that California is a pure comparative fault state. This means that even if the victim is at fault for a significant amount of the accident, they can still recover some damages. Filing a car accident claim in California can feel overwhelming and complicated, but with the representation of an experienced attorney, you will have the tools and resources for a successful case.
What Is California’s Comparative Fault Law?
While some car accidents may have a precise individual at fault, not every crash is black and white. Sometimes both parties hold partial fault in an accident and can be responsible for paying damages. California’s comparative negligence law provides a way to divide fault between multiple parties. The plaintiff’s damages are also reduced based on how much their own negligence contributed to the crash.
The defendant’s lawyer will look to analyze and try to turn the case in favor of the defendant by presenting evidence of the plaintiff’s negligence. In order to protect your rights and your compensation, your car accident lawyer will offer their representation and argue in your favor against the defendant’s claim. Without legal representation, the defendant may claim you have a higher percentage of fault for the crash.
How California Determines the Level of Responsibility in Comparative Fault Cases
A judge or jury is often responsible for determining responsibility and fault for a California car accident. The defendant will claim that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to their own injuries and damages from the accident. However, in order for the defendant to succeed in dividing responsibility, they must prove the following:
- The plaintiff was negligent
- The plaintiff’s negligence played a substantial role in the harm they suffered
Suppose the judge or jury determines that the plaintiff’s harm was partially due to their own negligence. In that case, the percentage of fault caused by the plaintiff’s negligence reduces the amount of compensation the plaintiff receives.
Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
When handling a comparative negligence claim, the higher the percentage of negligence a judge or jury finds you responsible for, the less compensation you can recover for your injuries. The defendant and their lawyer will work to increase how responsible you are for your injuries. Without the representation of a dependable lawyer, your rights and compensation are at risk.
Not only will a car accident lawyer defend your claim, but they also will provide the following services:
- Answering claim-related questions
- Interviewing eyewitnesses of your car accident
- Navigating the medical documentation process
- Negotiating with insurance agencies
- Gathering information and evidence about your case
- Advancing all costs necessary to pursue your claim
With the help of a car accident attorney, you will have someone by your side representing you throughout the challenging proceedings. Your rights and compensation may suffer without an individual familiar with a comparative negligence case’s legal complexities and strategies.
Find Experienced California Legal Representation with Younglove Law Group
We understand the challenges and frustrations that come with a California car accident. Not only may you suffer severe injuries and property damages, but you may also need to navigate complex legal proceedings. Our Younglove Law Group car accident lawyers have years of experience advocating for our clients. We understand that every person and claim is unique, so our team tailors our legal services to you and your claim’s needs.
Speak with a reliable California lawyer by calling (949) 691-3660 or filling out our contact form today.