Who is responsible for compensating a victim for damages obtained in a personal injury claim is dependent on who was at fault. In a situation where only one party was at fault, determining their liability is fairly simple. However, in an accident where the injured victim was also partly responsible for the injuries they sustained, a personal injury claim can become more complex.
In accidents involving comparative negligence, you may need the help of an El Dorado Hills personal injury lawyer. Our personal injury attorneys at Triumph Law can evaluate your personal injury claim and determine how your comparative negligence may affect the compensation you could receive. Even if you were partly to blame for your accident, we can help you obtain the maximum amount possible.
Types of Personal Injury Claims in California
A personal injury claim is when an individual suffers an injury as a result of another person’s negligence or misconduct. Personal injury claims can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor to fatal. Common personal injury claims that we handle at Triumph Law include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, buses, and rideshares
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability cases, including slip and falls and drownings
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful deaths
The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to make the victim whole. Proving negligence is key to securing compensation in these cases. Our experienced El Dorado Hills personal injury attorneys at Triumph Law have over 20 years of favorable results for our personal injury clients.
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Proving Negligence in a California Personal Injury Claim
Negligence is a person’s failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to him or herself and other individuals. In California, there are three elements that must be established to prove negligence in a personal injury case. These three elements are as follows:
- That the person responsible for the personal injury accident was negligent
- That the person filing the personal injury claim was harmed
- That the negligence of the person responsible for the personal injury was a significant factor in causing the claimant’s harm
To prevail in your case, you must prove all three of these elements. An experienced personal injury lawyer in El Dorado Hills knows what evidence is needed to demonstrate these elements. If you have been harmed in a personal injury accident, you should contact our attorneys at Triumph Law as soon as possible.
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Comparative Negligence vs Contributory Negligence
There are two primary types of negligence in personal injury cases. These are comparative negligence and contributory negligence.
Comparative negligence ensures that factfinders in personal injury claims consider all factors that are relevant in allocating liability. In other words, a judge or jury must determine what percentage of harm each party to a personal injury case was responsible for causing.
Contributory negligence bars claimants from recovering damages for the negligence of another person if they were also negligent in causing their harm. Until 1975, California was a contributory negligence state. Since then, however, it has been a comparative negligence state.
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Understanding Comparative Negligence in California
California uses a pure comparative negligence standard in personal injury claims. This means that if a victim is found 99% responsible for their accident, they can still recover damages from the party who is 1% liable. In such a case, the party who is responsible for the smaller percentage of damages will pay less than if they were responsible for a greater share of the claimant’s injuries.
To make comparative negligence easier to understand, consider the following example. Suppose you were injured in a car accident where you are determined to be 40% at fault and the other driver is 60% at fault. If a jury awarded you a verdict of $100,000, the other driver would be responsible for paying you $60,000 for your injuries and losses.
A personal injury attorney in El Dorado Hills can investigate the details of your accident to identify all liable parties. We can then prove the elements necessary to demonstrate liability. We will collect the evidence needed to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Compensation You Can Receive from a California Personal Injury Claim
As a personal injury victim, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your tangible and non-tangible injuries. Even if you were partly to blame for your accident, you should still be made whole for the losses you have suffered. There are different types of damages you can receive in an accident where someone else was at least partially responsible for causing it.
You can receive compensatory damages, which include special damages and general damages. Special damages are your economic losses, such as your medical expenses, current and future loss of wages, and other out-of-pocket costs. General damages are your non-economic losses, such as your pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
While rare in comparative negligence claims, if the other party responsible for your injuries acted maliciously or recklessly, you could be awarded punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the liable party for their grossly negligent behavior and to deter them from acting in such a manner again. An El Dorado Hills personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine what type of damages you may be entitled to recover.
How Comparative Negligence Can Affect the Compensation You Receive from a Personal Injury Claim
The bottom line is that the compensation you receive from a personal injury claim can be affected by how negligent you were in your accident. The amount of damages you receive will be reduced proportionately to how responsible you were for your injuries. The more at fault you were for your personal injury accident, the more your monetary award will be reduced.
However, remember that in California, no matter how high your percentage of fault was in your personal injury accident, you can still recover damages for whatever portion of your injuries was not your fault. Our El Dorado Hills personal injury attorneys at Triumph Law can assess your personal injury accident and determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing.
Do not assume you cannot recover damages just because you were partly to blame for your personal injury accident. Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help you evaluate your potential claim. Our team at Triumph Law is ready to help you fight for your rights as a personal injury accident victim.
Getting Help from an El Dorado Hills Personal Injury Lawyer
When comparative negligence is involved in personal injury claims, determining damages can be complex. Our skilled Triumph Law personal injury lawyers can investigate your accident, determine liability, gather necessary evidence, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve from the other parties at fault.
Contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your personal injury claim, even if you were partly responsible.