Recovering compensation if you share fault in a car crash

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2022 | Car Accidents |

If you were partially responsible for an accident in California, you might be concerned about whether you can still claim compensation for the damages you suffered. The short answer is yes.

California law recognizes instances where responsibility for a crash does not fall on one driver. When this happens, the state’s negligence laws will come into play. It could affect the compensation due, as discussed below.

California is a pure comparative negligence state

In pure comparative fault states like California, you can recover some compensation even if you are 99%. responsible for a wreck. However, the compensation you are entitled to is relative to your contribution to the crash. If you contributed 40% to the accident, you may only recover 60% of the assessed damages.

For instance, the majority of the blame for most rear-end accidents falls on the driver who rammed into you. However, if they make a claim that your tail lights were not working at the time, they may be entitled to some damages.

How is fault determined in a crash?

Responsibility for a car crash can be established in several ways. Eyewitness testimony, statements from both drivers, surveillance footage and even police reports can all provide crucial leads about the driver at fault. 

Accident reconstruction experts can also help unravel the circumstances of a crash and determine each driver’s contribution using evidence from the crash scene.

Protecting your rights after an accident

It is worthwhile to understand how the process of settling a car accident claim in California works. You should be familiar with the damages you can recover and what you need to safeguard your interests during settlement negotiations or in court. 

With the necessary information and legal guidance, you will stand a better chance of recovering an adequate settlement for your damages.