San Jose Lawyer Explains Comparative Negligence in California

You deserve compensation even if you are partially at fault

Some car wreck victims are reluctant to pursue compensation for their injuries because they believe they were partially to blame for the accident. Under California’s comparative negligence rule, however, you still have a claim even if you played a role in causing the accident. At Needham Kepner & Fish LLP, we work tirelessly to help you recover compensation for your injuries.

If you were partially at fault, the amount of compensation you can receive is reduced in proportion to your share of the blame for the accident. Let’s say that you were driving a couple of miles over the speed limit when you were hit by a driver who ran a red light. And let’s say that you sue the other driver for $100,000 for your injuries. At trial, the judge or jury hears the evidence and assigns a percentage of responsibility to you and the defendant. If the evidence shows that you were 20 percent responsible for the accident and the driver who hit you was 80 percent responsible, you could recover $80,000 in compensation — that is, the $100,000 reduced by your 20 percent of the blame.

Your own negligence will reduce your damages

Many factors can reduce your damages in a negligence case in California. Here are some of them:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to use a safety belt
  • Failure to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle
  • Running a yellow or red light
  • Disregarding a pedestrian traffic light
  • Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Failure to adapt your driving to rain, fog or other hazardous conditions

Consult experienced negligence lawyers in California

At Needham Kepner & Fish LLP, our highly qualified lawyers guide you through every stage of your personal injury claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 1-408-956-6949 or online. We handle injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay us nothing unless you recover compensation.

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