Many people wrongly assume they are not entitled to compensation if they are partly at fault for an auto accident. Just because an accident victim shares the blame for an accident does not mean he or she cannot pursue a case for monetary damages. California has what is called comparative fault rules that allow injured accident victims to receive compensation even when they are partially to blame for a car crash.
Cases where an injured victim is partly at fault for an auto accident can be complicated. The victim needs to know what his or her rights are in these complex situations. A Long Beach auto accident lawyer can determine what percentage a victim was at fault and what the implications of shared responsibility will be for the auto accident case.
What Happens if You are Partly at Fault for an Auto Accident?
An auto accident can cause expensive damages that your insurance may not fully cover. If you are hurt and suffer losses, you can pursue a claim for compensation if another party was to blame. Unfortunately, some people who are injured in an accident share some responsibility for causing the crash. In these situations, you can still make a case for damages under California’s comparative fault rules.
Traditionally, only completely innocent victims could pursue a case to recover money from someone who hurt them. Because of the unfairness of this strict rule, most states began to make changes to the law. California is one of the states to adopt the fairer comparative fault rules.
According to the comparative negligence rule, victims can recover compensation for accidents even if they were partly to blame, if they can show the other driver was also at fault. This means if you can prove the other driver was negligent, and that negligence led to you getting hurt, you can recover partial damages even if you also made mistakes that led to the crash.
How Does Comparative Fault Affect Your Auto Accident Recovery?
California Civil Jury Instruction 405 provides important information about comparative fault. According to the jury instruction, a defendant in an auto accident case can reduce the amount of money he must pay to a plaintiff if he can show the plaintiff’s negligence was also a substantial factor in causing harm.
Under the comparative negligence rule, if a defendant successfully proves the plaintiff is partly to blame for causing an auto accident, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by the percentage the plaintiff was to blame for the accident. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages and you were 10 percent responsible for the accident, the amount of damages you would receive would be reduced by 10 percent of $10,000 ($1,000). The defendant would pay you $9,000.
How Can a Long Beach Auto Accident Lawyer Help
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
If you are partially responsible to an auto accident, a Long Beach auto accident lawyer will fight to access the defendant the greatest amount of blame possible, thereby minimizing any reduction of your compensation.
My law practice represents car accident victims, including those who were partly to blame. I can prove the extent the defendant is at fault for the crash, and maximize your compensation.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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