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Comparative Negligence: Do You Have a Case If You Contributed to Your Own Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

California injury attorney, California accident lawywerProving who was at fault in an accident is a major issue in any personal injury case, whether it be a car accident or a slip and fall. In some cases, an accident victim will be put in the defensive position when the at-fault party asserts that the victim is responsible for the accident.

For example, if you slipped and fell on a slick floor in the supermarket, you may be able to file a suit against the store. You may be able to prove that the store is responsible for your fall by failing to clean its floors in a timely way.

However, there may be a video of your fall showing that you were texting while walking or that you were running down the aisle. If a jury sees that evidence, the jurors may conclude that the fall victim is ultimately at fault or at least partially at fault.

How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Recovery

California is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if an injured person is found to be a cause of an accident, the injured person can still recover compensation for his or her losses, albeit at a reduced amount.

At trial, a jury would first determine fault. Fault could be assigned to parties not included in the lawsuit. After percentages of fault are decided, the jury would set the damage award to compensate for a victim’s losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If the accident victim is assigned a percentage of fault, his or her damage award would be reduced by that percentage.

Thus, an accident victim is often put in the situation of having to prove his or her own case and having to defend against claims of contributory negligence.

Contact a San Jose, CA Comparative Negligence Attorney

If you believe that an at-fault party will attempt to argue that you were totally or partially at fault for the accident, you should contact a lawyer. The at-fault party likely has a team of lawyers retained by his or her insurer, and an accident victim with no professional legal counsel will stand little chance of winning.

Hiring an attorney on contingency fee basis means that you will not pay any legal fees unless you recover at trial or through a settlement. Call the skilled San Jose comparative negligence lawyers at Jachimowicz Law Group at 408-246-5500 for a free consultation about your case.

 

Source:

http://www.west.net/~smith/1714.htm

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