When evaluating accidents in which an injury occurs, California understands that it is not always as simple as identifying a single party who is 100% responsible. The circumstances of an accident can be subtle and complex—and can be even be contributed to by the injured party. When this happens, civil courts use the principle of "pure comparative fault" to assign negligence to the appropriate parties.
With pure comparative fault, the court assigns a percentage of negligence to all parties involved with the incident in question. That percentage then dictates what compensation can be collected by each party.
To illustrate how this works, let's use a theoretical example of a car accident involving several drivers. In this case, the jury has awarded $10,000 to each of the victims of the accident, but have found that all of them have share fault:
· Driver A is found to be 70% at fault
· Driver B is found to be 20% at fault
· Driver C is found to be 10% at fault
Their percentage of fault is then subtracted from the maximum, awarded compensation. So, driver B would receive $8,000 ($10,000 - 20%) and driver C would receive $9,000 ($10,000 - 10%).
Successfully Asserting Your Role in the Accident
You'll also notice that driver A is also eligible for compensation. In the previous example, he or she would receive a mere $3,000 for their role as the primary negligent party in the accident. Many have criticized the pure comparative fault system because it allows negligent parties to collect proceeds even if they are found to be the dominant cause of the accident.
However, pure comparative fault also allows many accident victims who are partially responsible for their injury to pursue and receive the relief they need. It is essential that these victims retain aggressive and thorough representation to successfully establish their role in the accident—and not let other responsible parties skew the facts and reduce the amount of money available to them.
If you or a loved one has been hurt because of someone else's actions, then we encourage you to contact the Law Offices of Craig A. Edmonston today. Our dedicated team of Bakersfield personal injury attorneys has nearly three decades of experience and, in that time, has recovered millions of dollars on our clients' behalf.
It is possible to move on from your injury with the relief you both need and deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.