In some cases, you may be entitled to recover money for your car accident claim even though you are partially at fault for the crash. Because of California’s comparative fault law, you may be able to receive compensation for a portion of your medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages. To determine if you can recover money for your claim, we urge you to call our Fresno accident attorneys for a free consultation today.
How Does Comparative Fault Work in California?
California has adopted a pure comparative fault standard for personal injury cases. When more than one party is responsible for the cause of an accident, the court “compares” the fault for the accident and assigns a percentage of fault to each responsible party.
For example, if you are in a car crash with another driver who pulled out of a parking lot in front of you, the court may find that driver 100 percent responsible for the crash. In that case, you should be entitled to receive full compensation for your injuries. However, if you were speeding at the time of the crash, the court might find you partially responsible for the crash. If you are partially at fault, the money you can receive for your claim can be reduced because you contributed to the cause of the accident.
For our example, let’s assume that your damages are $300,000 and you are assigned 30 percent of the fault for the crash. The most money you can receive for your claim is $210,000 (your total damages less your percentage of fault). As you can see, it is very important to prove that you did not have any responsibility for the crash because any percentage of fault assigned to you can reduce the amount of money you recover for your claim.
Pure Comparative Fault in California
California has adopted a “pure” form of the comparative fault standard. Unlike other states who have modified this standard, California allows you to recover partial compensation even if you are 99 percent responsible for a crash. Some states have adopted a modified version of comparative fault that prevents accident victims from recovering compensation if they are more than one-half at fault for a crash.
In a few states, victims face pure contributory fault standards. Victims in these states can be barred from recovering any compensation for damages if they are even slightly at fault for the crash. Pure contributory negligence is the harshest form of apportioning compensation between parties while California’s pure comparative negligence standard is the broadest standard of apportioning compensation in an accident claim.
Contact a Fresno And Central California Valley Car Accident Lawyer
As you can see, it is crucial that you prove that you were not responsible for causing the collision that caused your injury. Our car accident attorneys perform thorough accident investigations to identify liable parties and gather evidence to prove fault.