In many car, pedestrian or motorcycle accidents across California involving multiple vehicles, it can be difficult to figure out who is to blame. This is because often, a crash is the result of a combination of factors and mistakes made by multiple parties. Sorting all this out can be complicated and frustrating.
Because of these challenges, many victims choose not to pursue damages or legal action. Additionally, many people have misconceptions about their options after a motor vehicle accident, including the assumption that they cannot pursue damages if they were at fault. However, this is not true. In this post, we will explore the theory of comparative negligence and how it can be a critical factor if you have been injured in an accident.
There are basically two different laws that states observe in terms of negligence: contributory and comparative. Contributory negligence prevents people from collecting damages if they contributed to the accident in any way. Comparative negligence allows victims to collect damages even if they were partially to blame. However, the damages awarded will be decreased based on the percentage of negligence.
California follows the rule of pure comparative fault. This is crucial for motorists to understand, as it means that not only can you collect damages if you are at fault for an accident, you may be able to do so even if you are 99 percent at fault. A jury may determine that you were only 40 percent negligent in a crash and that means that you would still collect 60 percent of the total damages awarded.
Misconceptions about fault and damages can lead to some costly mistakes and the assumption that you have to deal with your injuries alone. This is why it can be so important to discuss your case with an attorney, even if you think you shoulder some of the blame. Compensation may be available, and collecting this money can be a significant source of relief for victims of motor vehicle accidents.