May 28, 2023

Understanding California’s Comparative Fault System and How it Affects Personal Injury Claims

If you were hurt in an accident that was the result of another person’s carelessness, you may be eligible for financial compensation. However, in California, the concept of comparative fault can impact the amount of compensation you may receive. Here’s what you need to know about California’s comparative fault system and how it affects personal injury claims.

What is Comparative Fault?

Comparative fault is a legal concept that is used to assign fault and responsibility in cases where more than one party may be at fault for an accident. In California, the law recognizes the concept of pure comparative fault, which means that a person’s compensation can be reduced by their percentage of fault for the accident, regardless of how much fault they may bear.

How Does Comparative Fault Affect Personal Injury Claims?

In personal injury claims, comparative fault can be a significant factor in determining the amount of compensation that a plaintiff may receive. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced accordingly. Click here to learn more.

For example, if a plaintiff is involved in a slip and fall accident on a property with a wet floor, but they were not paying attention to their surroundings, a jury may find that they were 25% at fault for the accident. In this case, their compensation may be reduced by 25%.

How is Comparative Fault Determined?

The determination of comparative fault in personal injury claims is typically made by a jury, although it may also be negotiated between the parties involved or determined by a judge. The jury will consider all of the evidence presented, including witness testimony, expert opinions, and any relevant documents, in order to assign fault to each party involved.

It’s important to note that in California, even if a plaintiff is found to be mostly at fault for the accident, they may still be entitled to some compensation. However, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Because comparative fault can significantly impact the amount of compensation you may receive in a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands California’s laws and legal system.

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