Auto accidents are sometimes caused by more than one driver. When two or more people are responsible for a crash, California comparative negligence laws kick in. These laws allow you to hold another driver accountable for your damages, even when you are partially to blame. But as a car accident attorney, I can tell you that cases involving multiple at-fault drivers are complicated.
Comparative negligence is the key for auto accident victims who bare some responsibility for an accident, but are seeking compensation from the person who shares the blame.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Under California law, car accident victims are compensated when another driver’s negligence causes their injuries. However, sometimes the other driver’s negligence is only partly to blame. Different states handle this situation differently. Some use contributory negligence rules while others use comparative negligence rules.
Although these legal terms sound confusing, their meanings are actually quite simple. In contributory negligence states, if you’re partly to blame for your accident, you cannot sue another driver for his role in causing the crash. This legal rule often results in unfair outcomes.
California used to be a contributory negligence state. However, in the case Li v. Yellow Cab Co. of California, the court rejected contributory negligence. Instead, it established the comparative negligence rule. Comparative negligence says fault for an accident can be shared. Each driver is liable for the percentage of losses equal to his percentage of blame in causing the accident.
How Does Comparative Negligence Impact CA Car Accident Claims?
Since California uses comparative negligence rules, an at-fault driver can hold another negligent driver responsible for losses they cause. California Civil Jury Instructions 405 explains how the comparative fault rules work in practice.
When a car accident claim goes to court, a jury decides what percent of blame to assign to the plaintiff. Then, whatever damages the jury awards the plaintiff gets reduced by that percentage. For example, assume a plaintiff suffered $100,000 in damages in a car accident where a jury found he was 40 percent at fault. The plaintiff would receive $60,000 ($100,000 minus 40%), from the driver who was 60 percent to blame.
Getting Help from a Long Beach Car Accident Attorney
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
To receive compensation for accident related losses, when you’re partly to blame, we need to prove the other driver’s negligence. I have been a car accident attorney for over 30 years and have developed a top team of experts. We will investigate and reconstruct the accident in order to present decisive evidence to the insurance company and/or jury.
As an experienced Long Beach car accident attorney, I know how to make it obvious that the other driver’s actions were the leading cause of the auto accident. Your injuries are personal to me so I will handle every aspect of your case and maximize the compensation you receive.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Speak with a Long Beach personal injury attorney and learn how I can help if you’ve suffered a car accident injury.
You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you receive compensation for your losses.
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