How Does Comparative Negligence Work?

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Whether in Orange County or anywhere else in California, the term “comparative negligence” refers to a method of determining fault in accident and injury cases. It takes into consideration the comparative levels of fault both parties may have been responsible for in the events that led to an accident or injury.

This makes it easier to judge complex cases where both the negligent party and the individual suing are partially to blame for what happened. If you have been injured in an accident in Orange County, it helps to have an idea of how comparative negligence works as it can have an impact on the amount of financial compensation that you ultimately receive.

Distributing Blame for an Accident or Injury

Comparative negligence distributes a percentage of blame to each of the parties involved in an accident. For example, if a driver is drinking and driving and hits another driver who was running a red light, it could be said that both parties were engaging in negligent driving behavior. Thus, both parties share some fault for the resulting accident.

A number of other factors can also play a role in the distribution of blame, such as the following:

  • Who was injured
  • Whether the negligence was willful
  • Whether both parties were doing something illegal
  • Whether someone was driving without a license or insurance

Being Partially at Fault Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Sue

Comparative negligence distributes fault in a way that prevents a single party from seeking full compensation if he or she was also at fault. However, it doesn’t prevent the ability to seek compensation just because someone is partially at fault. Rather, it reduces the compensation received by the same percentage of fault the party is responsible for.

For example, if the suing party is found to be 20 percent at fault, the compensation awarded to him or her will then be reduced by 20 percent. So if a settlement of $100,000 were to be granted, the amount actually received would be $80,000.

Get Help from a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt in an accident, you might not be sure if you were partially responsible for what happened and what that means for your options going forward. With that in mind, it’s important to always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting any blame or settlement offers.

If you have any questions regarding comparative negligence and how it applies to your case, a personal injury lawyer from Kohan & Bablove, Injury Attorneys can examine the details of your accident claim and help you determine the best way to move forward. To get started with a free, no-obligation case evaluation, just give us a call at 1-844-404-2400 or complete the form at the bottom of this page.