Comparative fault, also referred to as comparative negligence, is the rule for distributing the damages in cases where both parties are found guilty for the accident. The fault is usually attributed in terms of a percentage to all those involved in the case and each party must pay their share in the other’s damages. In cases where you are also to blame for the accident, like an auto accident perhaps, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help represent you in court and increase your chances to maximize the amount of compensation.
The comparative fault system, explained by our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys
California recognizes the pure comparative fault rule. This means that one of the parties involved in the accident can still recover damages even it is at fault for the accident. However, the degree of the recovery is reduced by the degree of fault.
When the accident is judged in court, the jury will determine the degree of negligence each party has. This decision takes place after the individuals have presented their case and evidence. According to this California law, an individual who suffered damages in an accident can still recover his damages even if he is found 99% to blame for the accident. This is possible because there is no legal limit on the degree of negligence in an accident that can disqualify someone from receiving compensations. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, then the total damage he or she is entitled to will be reduced by this percentage. The jury will award the amount of damages and the judge will determine the percentage of fault. The pure comparative negligence rule was not always used in California. However, the system was introduced after a number of cases reflected the fact that the prior practice, of not allowing for any compensations to the party who was at fault, was disagreeable to the plaintiff.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys invite you to watch a video about the pure comparative negligence rule:
Examples of incidents with comparative fault
Some of the best examples of comparative fault include car or truck accidents. This is also possible for chain car crashes where individuals suffer various degrees of injuries. It can also be used in slip and fall accidents or workplace accidents.
The comparative fault law offers great flexibility in settling claims and it is advantageous for the defendant/s. If you are involved in an accident with multiple parties and you are the one who suffered the most damages, our lawyer will help you collect damages from the other drivers at fault.
As a plaintiff, you can start by using a settlement calculator to find out what the initial settlement can be in your case. You can then use the advice provided by a personal injury attorney to estimate the percentage of fault you might have had, for example in a car accident where both you and the defendant were speeding or were not paying attention to the traffic signals and lights.
Marc Y. Lazo is specialized in personal injury cases as well as in complex business and commercial litigation. He has tried numerous cases to successful verdict and has obtained multiple six-figure judgments in both state and federal court.