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Can I Still Sue if I Was Partially to Blame for a Car Crash in California?

Posted on in Car Accidents

glendale personal injury lawyerRarely is a car accident 100% the fault of one individual. While there are certainly some cases where the blame is clearly only on one driver, it is more common for multiple drivers to have contributed to the accident in some way. Luckily, in California, you may still be able to recover from a car accident even if you are partially responsible. California law is more laid back compared to many other states in this regard. California uses what is known as the pure comparative negligence system, which generally allows people to win compensation proportionate to their share of fault. 

Dividing blame in a car accident can be technically and legally challenging. It is important to consult an attorney before attempting to bring a claim for a motor vehicle accident you may be assigned some level of fault for. 

What Does Pure Comparative Negligence Mean in California?

The pure comparative negligence rule in California means that people who were hurt in an accident can be permitted to recover damages for whatever portion of the accident was not their fault. For example, if you are 50% at fault for your injuries, you can recover 50% of what you would have if the blame had been 100% on the other driver. 

Many states have a cap, often around 51%, after which an injured person can no longer recover any compensation whatsoever. This is typically referred to as modified comparative negligence. Under California‚Äôs system, on the other hand, a driver who was 90% at fault could theoretically be entitled to recover 10% of his damages. From a practical standpoint, the driver who was more at fault would more likely simply end up owing the primary victim less money after the case is settled. 

What Are Some Examples of Partial Fault in a Motor Vehicle Crash?

Car accidents are not always as cut-and-dry as one might think. Often, two or more drivers make some type of error that ultimately leads to a collision. Common examples of partial fault in a car crash include: 

  • Cut-offs - While in almost all cases, a driver who rear-ends someone is primarily at fault, the driver in front could be partially responsible if he cut closely in front of the rear driver before braking.

  • Signals - Failing to signal a turn or lane change before getting hit could potentially mean that you have some fault in the accident. 

  • Speeding - When both drivers involved in an accident were speeding or disobeying other traffic laws, both may have some responsibility for the accident. 

Call an L.A. County Car Accidents Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident, Tahmazian Law Firm, P.C. may be able to recover partial compensation on your behalf even if you were partially responsible. Our experienced L.A. car crash attorneys are skilled at evaluating accidents and will strive to recover the most compensation possible for you. Call us at 818-242-8201 when you are ready to schedule your free consultation. 

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1431.2.

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