What if I was partially at fault for causing the accident?
- March 29, 2017
Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes, the mistakes we make can contribute to serious accidents. But even if you were partially at fault in an accident, you may still be eligible to make a claim for recovery if you incurred serious injuries.
Comparative fault in California
If you bring an personal injury case to court, the verdict may be determined by either a judge or a jury. In both cases, the judge or jury will make a judgment about how much you are determined to be responsible for your accident. In the state of California, if you are found to be 30 percent responsible for the accident, you will receive or be entitled to the value of the damages you suffered in the accident minus 30 percent.
For example, if the claim that you file is for $10,000, and the judge or jury finds that you were determined to be 30 percent responsible for your accident, you will receive 70 percent of the $10,000 claim. This is $10,000 minus 30 percent.
In the state of California, even if you are 99 percent responsible for a serious accident, you can still receive damages from another party. However, if you are 100 percent responsible for the accident that occurred, you are not eligible to file a claim, and you’re not eligible to recover any funds. This law allowance is what is called “apportionment of liability” in the state of California.
Fighting for damages you deserve
Because many California residents do not fully understand apportionment of liability and comparable fault laws, they may falsely assume that even if they are just slightly responsible for an accident that occurs, they cannot receive damages for their injuries, loss of wages and inability to pursue further employment. This is important to keep in mind if you have been in an accident and are now experiencing financial losses and severe debt because of your injuries and other costs.
In order to protect yourself in these cases, the first thing that you should do is contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after your accident occurs. Of course, your health and safety is your first priority. After your accident, if you have severe injuries or someone else on the accident scene has been severely injured, you should call emergency services right away. Following this, you’ll naturally need to make sure that medical appointments, surgeries and other requirements to your health and well-being are met.
But as you soon as you can after you take care of these things, talk to a personal injury lawyer and retain your legal counsel. There are numerous reasons why you’ll want to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
First, statutes of limitations in the state of California require that you file your lawsuit within a specific timeframe that starts on the date of your accident. If you wait too long, you may be ineligible to file a claim. Furthermore, remember that all of the legal footwork and paperwork involved in preparing a lawsuit takes time, so the sooner you begin, the better. Finally, insurance agencies from the defendant in your case will be attempting to settle with you, and their settlements are usually much less than you deserve. In order to get adequate compensation for your injuries and losses, always go through a lawyer.
Talking to a personal injury lawyer
Being involved in a serious car, bike or pedestrian accident brings about numerous questions, many of which are related to who was actually the party that caused the accident. If you have been in an accident and incurred physical, mental or emotional injuries, bringing your case will depend largely on who was at fault. But it’s important to note that even if you were partially at fault in your accident, there are still ways that you can sue for damages and compensation.
In order to find out whether you have a valid claim to compensation, the best thing to do is talk to a professional, reputable personal injury lawyer in your area. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that you file your claim correctly and get the compensation you deserve. Similarly, they’ll make sure that you meet the state of California’s statute of limitations requirements.