August 18, 2020

Comparative Fault in California: Can I Still Recover Compensation if I Partially Cased a Crash?

When it comes to car accidents, it is often difficult to determine who is at fault. In many cases, multiple parties can be viewed liable for an accident. In California, when there is more than one party at fault, a fact-finder will need to assess each party’s fault in creating the auto accident.  This is an important argument because it can directly affect the amount of compensation that a victim may be entitled to under California law.  Our Los Angeles comparative fault lawyer explains what you need to know.

With comparative fault, damages are awarded to parties based on the percentage of their liability. For instance, if you are 20 percent responsible for the accident, your compensation is based on that percentage. Even if you are primarily responsible for the accident, you may still collect compensation as long as there is another party partly at fault. In fact, under California law, you may still collect compensation if you are 99 percent responsible for the accident.

But of course, your comparative fault reduces your award.  For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and were 20% at fault, you would receive $80,000.  In the example of being 99% at fault, you would only receive $1,000.  This is why it is important to limit your comparative fault.

Lowering your comparative fault percentage requires you to show negligence on the part of another driver. This is done by proving some of the following:

  • The other driver owed you a duty — All drivers owe this to each other by driving responsibly
  • The other driver breached his or her duty — That driver did not drive in accordance with that duty.
  • The breach caused a crash — You must prove that the breach of duty caused the accident.
  • You suffered damages because of that breach — You suffered injuries and other damages because of the accident

If you have suffered an injury in an accident in which you were partially at fault, it is important to consult with a Los Angeles comparative fault lawyer to understand your rights to compensation. For more information and a FREE case review, contact us today at (888) 588-1777.  We are ready and willing to help.