No one could ever imagine needing an accident lawyer. But the following could happen to anyone.
Early one morning, you are out for a jog. As you approach an intersection, you notice a ‘no-walk’ red traffic signal against you. There are no cars approaching on the horizon so you decide to keep jogging and enter the crosswalk against a ‘no-walk’ red traffic light.
At the same time
At the same time, a driver exits the corner gas station and tries to beat the yellow traffic signal against him. However, he is too late and runs a red light. In the process of going through the intersection, the driver hits you while you tie your shoe laces in the middle of the crosswalk. A little far-fetched? Maybe. But, do you still have a claim against the driver, even though you are partially at fault?
What does it mean in California
California is a pure comparative fault state. This means that you can still make a personal injury claim against the driver even if you were partially at fault. Yet, your recovery will be reduced by the amount of your fault. For example, you file a lawsuit and go to trial. The jury awards you $100,000 but also finds you to be 25% at fault for the accident. Your award will be reduced by 25% or $25,000.
Being partially at fault
How can an injured party be partially at fault for an accident? Although there is no hard and fast rule in determining whether an injured party was at fault or how much comparative fault will be attributed to that person, here are some examples of what can constitute comparative fault: driving too fast; wearing no seat belt; failing to signal; being inattentive; lack of visibility; running into the street; jaywalking; or entering a crosswalk against a ‘no-walk’ red signal.
You may still be able to seek compensation
It is important to know how pure comparative fault works because you may still be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of income if you are injured in an accident but are partially at fault.
The pure comparative fault system has not been adopted by all the States. This article strictly talks about California law. Laws in other states may differ. This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to serve as legal advice.
If you have a personal injury case, such as an accident, slip and fall, dog bite, etc., and want to get an honest assessment of your case and be educated as to your options, please give us a call.
Our Contact Info:
The Mason Law Firm
28494 Westinghouse Place, Suite 202
Valencia, CA 91355