Comparative Negligence in California Auto Accidents

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While Los Angeles accident victims may like to think that it is clear who is to blame and should be held responsible for an accident, the law is not always so cut-and-dried. Multiple parties may be responsible for causing an accident in varying degrees and many states have devised separate rules concerning the issue of contributory negligence – that is, the amount that an injured party can recover if he or she is partially responsible for causing the accident.

For example, if Driver A suddenly and negligently cuts across three lanes of traffic in order to enter a strip mall and Driver B is traveling at unsafe speeds in excess of the posted speed limits and the two drivers to crash, who is to blame?  Both drivers drove negligently and are guilty to some degree, but what proportion of blame should be assigned to each party? Are both injured parties still allow to recover damages for injuries suffered?

California law allows for recovery in auto accidents under a pure comparative fault rule. This means that parties can recover whatever percentage of damages that they are not responsible for, even if they are primarily to blame for the accident. In other words, if Jane Roe is 99% at fault for causing an accident, but John Doe is still found to be 1% responsible due to his negligence, Jane is still allowed to recover 1% of her damages. The fact that her level of culpability is over 50% does not bar her from obtaining a partial recovery. An experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyer can explain this legal concept in further detail.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or auto accident where you may have also been at fault, do not despair. An aggressive personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover financial damages for your loss. However, situations like these can be tricky and insurance companies may not be up front with you about what or how much you can recover, which is another reason you need to discuss your legal options with an attorney in Los Angeles who understands your rights.

If you are involved in an accident due to someone’s negligence and have suffered damages, consult an attorney directly after seeking medical attention. The trial lawyers at BIKLAW understand the pure comparative negligence and will fight for your rights and financial recovery.

 

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