If an investigation determines you have some responsibility for causing your auto collision, you may still be entitled to injury compensation from the other driver. However, you'll need to be realistic when filing a claim on how your negligence affects the final settlement amount.

How California’s Pure Negligence Law May Affect Your Claim

How your percentage of fault in an accident affects an injury settlementComparative negligence controls what happens when both drivers are partially at fault in causing a car accident. Unlike other states, California follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine. Under this law, you can receive compensation, even if you were partly to blame for the crash. However, the amount is reduced by your percentage of fault.

Assuming that your claim is worth $200,000, here's how pure comparative negligence could affect the amount you receive:

  • If you were 20 percent at fault, you could be entitled to $160,000.
  • If you were 40 percent at fault, you could be entitled to $120,000.
  • If you were 60 percent at fault, you could be entitled to $80,000.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Auto Crash

Whether you share fault or not, having the legal guidance of an experienced car accident attorney is critical for gathering evidence, demonstrating the percentage of fault, and negotiating with insurance companies. The carrier that covers the other driver might try to raise comparative negligence as a defense to push for a reduction of the settlement amount—or deny the claim altogether.

Your attorney will also evaluate whether your case benefits from interviewing eye witnesses, taking photos and videos of your injury and the crash scene, and contracting with an accident reconstruction expert to prove your actual percentage of fault.  

Were you injured in a car accident in the San Diego area? Call my office to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal options, the personalized approach I'll apply to your case, and my track record of success in helping accident victims like you.


Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney