When drivers share blame for a car accident, each party is usually assigned a percentage of fault based on their degree of responsibility to determine their extent of liability. Several factors influence this allocation of fault, including traffic violations, police reports, eyewitness statements and even road conditions.
That said, your contribution to a car accident in California should not deter you from seeking compensation for the harm and losses you suffered. The Golden State follows a pure comparative negligence approach when parties share fault for a crash. As such, you may be entitled to compensation even if you bear the majority of responsibility for a crash.
Why your level of fault matters
While you can claim compensation even if you were partly responsible for an accident, the role you played will directly affect the amount you may recover via a car accident claim. In other words, your assigned percentage of fault will diminish your compensation.
For instance, if you’re deemed 80% at fault and your total damages amount to $100,000, you’ll receive 20% of your recoverable compensation after the reduction, which means you will only recover $20,000. Presenting a solid argument that minimizes your assigned percentage of fault can go a long way in maximizing your potential compensation.
Were you partly to blame for your car accident?
Insurance companies will use your assigned level of fault to diminish the overall value of your claim if you share responsibility for a crash. As a result, an inaccurate allocation of fault could leave you with less compensation than you deserve.
This reality highlights the need for seeking legal assistance as early as possible. Seeking qualified guidance from the onset can help you to gather comprehensive evidence in your support and build a compelling case that will increase the chances of a favorable settlement despite your contribution to the crash.