Unfortunately, you may sustain physical and mental trauma due to another party’s negligence. When this occurs you are entitled to file a claim against that negligent party to seek financial compensation for your losses. However, the legal process can become more complex if you are partially responsible for the cause of the accident that led to your injuries. States either follow the comparative negligence rule or the contributory negligence rule to determine whether an injured individual is entitled to recover compensation for their damages if they contributed in any capacity to the cause of the accident that led to their injuries. If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligent actions and you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident that caused your injuries, it could affect your ability to recover financial compensation for your losses. It is imperative to understand which doctrine your state follows. Please read on and contact one of our adept Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorneys who can help you understand your legal options.
What is the difference between the comparative negligence rule and the contributory negligence rule in personal injury cases?
As mentioned above, states either follow comparative negligence or contributory negligence rules. Only five jurisdictions follow the contributory negligence rule, while other states including California follow the comparative negligence rule. Under the contributory negligence rule, if you are found in any way responsible for the cause of the accident, you are barred from recovering financial compensation. Regardless of whether you are found to be 1% at fault, you are not permitted to receive compensation. However, under the comparative negligence rule, you can still recover compensation if you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident. Even if you were 99% at fault in an accident, you are still allowed to recover compensation for your losses. However, your award is reduced by your degree or percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault for the cause of an accident, the amount you can recover will be reduced by 20%. Essentially, if you live in a state that follows the contributory negligence rule you cannot recover compensation if you contributed in any capacity to the accident. While if you live in a state that follows the comparative negligence rule you can still recover compensation if you contributed in any capacity to the accident.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone you love has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our determined and experienced attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek economic and noneconomic damages for their losses. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today.