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What Happens if You Are Partially to Blame for a Car Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose car accident attorneys, car accident fault, car accident, comparative negligence, personal injury claimCar accidents are complex events, with multiple factors often leading up to a crash. While one of the drivers may be obviously to blame, the other may share a portion of the responsibility, either for the accident itself or for the severity of his or her injuries. If you were involved in a crash or collision in which you are partially at fault, it is important to be aware that you may still be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident

California is known as a ‘fault based’ insurance state. Therefore, when a car accident occurs, the at-fault driver can be held liable for damages you suffer. Esurance advises that in determining blame for an accident, insurance investigators will typically obtain statements from each driver and copies of police reports, while visiting the accident scene and surveying the damage to the vehicles. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Hence, if they determine you to be even partially responsible for your accident or your injuries, they may thus deny your claim.

There are numerous actions a driver can make which may be seen as contributing to a car accident or the severity of his or her injuries. These include:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt;
  • Having one or two drinks with dinner before driving home;
  • Going several miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • Driving too fast for conditions; or
  • Tailgating, improper passing, and other reckless driving behaviors.

While all of the above represent lapses in judgement which could put you and others in jeopardy, they do not necessarily prevent you from obtaining compensation in a car accident claim.

Comparative Negligence in California

Comparative negligence is a legal theory in which multiple parties contribute to personal injuries. In some states you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury claim, provided you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident occurring. In our area, there is no such restriction.

Under the California Civil Code, you can still collect compensation even if you were mostly to blame for an accident. However, the amount you are entitled to collect would be reduced by the percent for which you are to blame. For example:

  • You are involved in a car accident for which your damages are estimated at $100,000.
  • You are determined to be 40 percent responsible for the collision or your injuries.
  • You would be entitled to claim 60 percent of your damages, or $60,000.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Before accepting an insurance company denial or a settlement offer that may be far less than what you deserve, contact Jachimowicz Law Group first. We can arrange a one-on-one consultation with our passionate San Jose car accident attorneys who will thoroughly review all of the details in your case. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, while advising you on your rights in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Call or contact us online to discuss your case today.








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