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How fault factors into a California car crash insurance claim

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

After a California car crash, the bills start piling up immediately. People typically have to pay to tow their vehicles to repair shops. They may require a very expensive ambulance ride to the hospital. They also have major costs related to medical treatment and lost wages, as well as the cost of actually repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle.

Oftentimes, people will file insurance claims after a wreck to recoup the expenses generated by the negligence or rule-breaking of another driver. In scenarios involving severe injuries or other major expenses, someone not at fault for a crash may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Yet, some people who might be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim opt out of asking for compensation because they know that they made a minor mistake in traffic before the crash.

How does personal fault influence the compensation available to someone injured in a car crash?

Comparative negligence laws govern such claims

Every state has its own rules about insurance and liability. In California, those injured due to the negligence of another person typically have the right to take legal action. The state has a comparative negligence statute that can influence both large insurance claims and injury-related lawsuits.

In a pure comparative negligence state, like California, those harmed by the negligence of others can take legal action even if the person they blame is not 100% at fault for the incident. The plaintiff seeking compensation can also be partially to blame, and that partial fault will not prevent them from obtaining compensation.

Instead, the insurance provider or courts will decrease the compensation awarded based on someone’s personal degree of fault for the incident. If the person asking for compensation is 25% at fault, then comparative negligence laws would lead to them receiving 75% of the compensation that the insurance company approves or the courts award them.

Even if someone makes a minor mistake that contributes to their injuries, they still have the legal right to hold the other party involved in the incident accountable. Proving who is at fault and establishing how much fault they have for the incident may help someone obtain an appropriate amount of compensation after a California crash.