If you have ever been involved in an auto accident, you might know that more than one person can be considered responsible for the crash. If person A was texting while driving and person B was speeding, both drivers should share the blame. In states like California that have a high number of traffic collisions, this type of incident is fairly common, but since California is considered an “at-fault” state, what does that mean for people involved in these incidents?
Pursuing damages for your injuries after an accident can be a stressful process, and many drivers do not know where to start. Take a look below as we explore the two variations of fault in California, contributory and comparative, and discover how they can affect all parties involved in an auto accident.
How Is Fault Determined?
Typically, an investigation will be able to uncover the individual at fault in the case of a car collision. It will also help to determine the reasons an accident occurred. Gathering information for this investigation might require surveillance camera footage from the scene, witness testimony, and other relevant proof.
An investigation can ultimately reveal whether negligence caused the accident and, if so, what kind of damage the guilty party is liable for. If an investigation reveals that you were at fault for an accident due to negligence, there will be certain penalties levied against you which may prevent you from claiming any compensation for the damage that occurred as a result of the collision.
Though there are only a few places in the U.S. that adhere to this ruling—Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia—contributory negligence states that anyone whose negligence led to an accident and caused harm to another person is not eligible for damages incurred by the other party, even if that individual is also found guilty of negligence.
In short, you cannot collect any compensation if you are found to be at fault for any percentage of the accident. One exception to this rule states that, if you can prove the other driver had an opportunity to prevent the collision or that their actions were intentional, you can overcome the contributory negligence liability.
The State of California adheres to the parameters of comparative negligence, which states that you can obtain compensation for damages you sustained during an accident even if you are found to be partially at fault. This ruling comes with the caveat that any damages you are paid will be calculated to reflect your degree of negligence or fault.
California’s comparative fault system can help you obtain compensation for injuries you incurred as a result of a collision. However, if you are seeking $5,000 after an accident but are responsible for 25 percent of the blame, you will only receive $3,750 to counterbalance the $1,250 worth of damages you caused.
Work with an Experienced California Auto Accident Attorney
Are you looking to seek damages for a collision or open a case regarding a recent accident? Contact the office of Setareh Law, APLC to find out how our firm of reliable attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Our team strongly believes in creating trusting relationships with our clients by providing one-on-one help that is tailored to meet their needs. When you’re ready to take your case to court, know that the team at Setareh Law will fight with you every step of the way.
Reach out to us today for a free consultation by calling (310) 659-1826 or contact us online for more information.