Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can you still have a claim if the accident is partly your fault?

I often get asked whether a person can still have a claim if they are partly at fault in an accident. The answer is yes. This is because California is a "comparative negligence" state, which means that a judge or a jury will compare the negligence between the plaintiff and defendant in a personal injury lawsuit and reduce the amount of damages by the degree to which the plaintiff is responsible for his or her injuries. This is usually expressed as a percentage. So if the award of damages is $100,000, as an example, and the jury finds the plaintiff to be 10% at fault, then the award would be reduced to $90,000. So you can still have a claim for personal injury if the accident is partly your fault, though a judge or jury may reduce the amount you are entitled to, depending on the degree to which you may have been negligent.

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