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Will My Claim Be Denied in California if I Am Partially at Fault?

If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. But what if you were partially at fault? Surprisingly, you may still be entitled to compensation for your losses.

California is a pure comparative negligence state meaning the law can work in your favor if you are partially at-fault after an auto accident or other personal injury incident. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between comparative negligence and pure comparative negligence:

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence comes into play in situations where a victim is partly to blame for his own injuries.

To give you a very basic example, imagine that you were hit by an oncoming vehicle while driving through an intersection. The other driver was mostly at fault, but a jury determined that you were responsible for 10% of the accident because you were speeding. Because you were responsible for 10% of the accident, your claim would also be reduced by 10%.

Typically, in comparative negligence states, if you are responsible for 50% or more of the accident, you would not recover a payout from the lawsuit or legal claim.

What Is Pure Comparative Negligence?

However in California, pure comparative negligence laws give you the ability to receive a settlement even if you were 99% responsible.

To give you another basic example, imagine you slipped and fell on a cracked sidewalk in front of someone’s business. After hearing your case, a jury decided you were responsible for 10% of the accident, and the jury also decided that you deserve $1 million as a settlement for your injuries.

Because you caused 10% of the accident, your claim gets reduced by that amount, $100,000; however, you would still receive $900,000 from the settlement.

What If You Believe You Were Totally at Fault?

After an accident, you usually have to work with insurance companies. To maintain their profit margins, many of these companies are notorious for offering lowball settlements. Even if they don’t know who was at fault, they may claim the accident was completely your fault.

Do not listen solely to the insurance companies as they may be protecting their own interests. It’s best to get a second opinion from an experienced personal injury attorney even if you believe the accident was completely your fault.

In one case, we were able to get a $1.5 million dollar settlement for the family of a young boy who lost both parents and a grandparent. The father was speeding and partially at fault when they ran into the back of a semi truck that slowed down while turning. Although witnesses said that the family appeared to be at fault, the hard work of our accident attorney and the pure comparative negligence laws of California helped this family get compensated for the losses they suffered in the auto accident.

Contact Us for a No-Cost Case Evaluation Today

At Dunnion Law, we work hard to help our clients get the justice they deserve, even when fault may be in question. If you have been in an auto accident or suffered an injury, contact us for a no-cost case evaluation today.