When an accident occurs, there can be a lot of finger pointing, especially when vehicles are involved. Even if someone admits fault at the scene, their insurance company may later try to lay blame elsewhere. If you or a loved one have sustained an injury and believe that you were partially to blame for the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation.
In personal injury cases where more that one person is legally liable for causing the accident, finding fault requires the use of the state’s contributory or comparative negligence rules.
Comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to collect personal injury damages from a defendant even if they both were partially to blame for the accident. However, the plaintiff will be awarded damages that are reduced by an amount that reflects his or her share of the fault. For example, if a plaintiff suffered $10,000 in damages in an accident and was deemed to share 25% of the blame, they would collect $7,500 from the defendant (who shared 75% of the blame).
Disputes over comparative fault can create challenging court cases. In these situations, the jury is responsible for determining the degrees of negligence for all involved parties. The insurance company will attempt to place more blame on the victim so that they don’t have to pay as much money. This means that the victim must fight back with proper evidence and representation.
States other than California, that follow a contributory negligence rule, handle the situation completely differently. An injured plaintiff cannot recover any damage from the at-fault driver if the plaintiff is found to have played any role in causing the accident by negligence.
Fortunately, California follows a comparative negligence system. If you need help determining fault in your case, call Grennier Law, PC today at 805-643-3900. We will make every effort to try to get you the most compensation possible.