How Does Comparative Fault Work in California?
In the event of a personal injury claim, there are several complex legal concepts that come into play. Comparative fault is one of them, and it can significantly impact the outcome of a case. If you are unfamiliar with what this term means and how it works, don't worry. We’ll walk you through the definition of comparative fault and look at how it can impact your personal injury case.
What Is Comparative Fault?
Comparative fault is the legal concept used to determine the amount of fault each party is responsible for in a personal injury lawsuit. While it’s possible for a single party to be 100% liable for an accident, this isn’t always the case. Accidents are often complex events where each party involved could be attributed some amount of blame for any given incident.
Comparative Fault in California
In California, comparative fault laws follow a pure comparative fault system. This means that a person can recover damages even if they are responsible for the accident. That said, the amount of damages awarded is reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to them.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident and a court determined you were 30% at fault because you were speeding, your recoverable damages would be reduced by 30%. This aspect of comparative fault is important to consider because it may not always make sense to bring a personal injury claim forward; that said, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assess your claim and help you ascertain its viability.
How Is Fault Determined in a Personal Injury Case?
Fault is determined through a process called negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. In a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused the plaintiff's injuries.
The court considers various factors when determining fault. Among these factors are the actions of each party leading up to the accident, the severity of the injuries, and any evidence that suggests one party may have been more responsible than the other.
What Should I Do If I’m Partially at Fault for My Injuries?
If you believe you’re partially at fault for your injuries, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine how much you may be able to recover. Additionally, your lawyer can help build a case that highlights the other party's negligence and minimizes your own.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
Comparative fault can be a complicated and confusing concept, but it is important to understand how it works if you are pursuing a personal injury claim in California. While it’s possible to recover damages even if you are partially responsible for your injuries, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
If you have been injured in an accident and need legal help, contact the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser today.