California Personal Injury Lawyers Explaining Comparative Fault
California personal injury lawsuits can arise in any number of ways, and
many times they involve situations where both parties to the lawsuit are
somewhat at fault for the injuries and damages that were suffered by the
plaintiff. The fact of the matter is that not all California personal
injury lawsuits are cut-and-dried where one party is completely to blame
for the result, and the laws of California have dealt with this reality
with a legal concept known as comparative negligence.
Below you'll find information regarding how California comparative
negligence works, how it would generally play out in a personal injury
lawsuit and finally how you should proceed if you or someone you love
has been harmed and needs the help of an experienced California personal
History of California Comparative Fault
The concept of comparative negligence in California began to take on its
modern form in 1975 with a case entitled,
Li v. Yellow Cab Co. That case involved a traffic accident where the plaintiff made a turn
across three lanes of traffic and was hit by the defendant's vehicle
which was speeding at the time. Up until that point, California had basically
followed an “all or nothing” rule in which the plaintiff would
not recover damages if he or she was partially at fault for the resulting damages.
This ruling changed that concept and allowed for the plaintiff to recover
damages based on what would become known as a “pure” comparative
fault standard. This concept has since been altered slightly with subsequent
decisions to ultimately form what is known as the California comparative
fault standard that's used today.
How California Comparative Fault Works
Today, if someone is injured and he or she is partially at fault, that
person can still file a California personal injury lawsuit seeking damages.
However, in the “pure” comparative fault standard, that plaintiff's
damages award will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the court
assigns to the plaintiff.
For instance, if a plaintiff is seeking $100,000 in damages and is found
to be 60 percent at fault, he or she would still recover $40,000 in damages.
This result also explains the “pure” comparative fault model
in that the plaintiff can be more than 50 percent at fault for injuries
incurred and still recover the portion of damages equal to the amount
that he or she was not at fault for the result.
In order to pursue a California personal injury lawsuit successfully within
this system, however, someone who has been injured needs to present his
or her case with skill and persuasiveness. If you or someone you love
has been harmed, even if you were partially at fault, you should seek
the help of experienced California personal injury lawyers who have years
of experience in winning verdicts under this system for clients. Contact
the Scarlett Law Group today to
schedule a free initial consultation.