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Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence in California

 Posted on January 21, 2024 in Car Accident

Blog ImageIn both car collisions and truck accidents there is a likelihood of injury to one or both parties involved. It should come as no surprise that medical costs are not cheap. So, in a motor vehicle accident, who winds up paying for the bills?

In California, it depends, in part, on who is at fault or whose negligence led to the accident and subsequent injuries. Thankfully, even if the defendant is only one percent liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff can still sometimes receive compensation for damages. The intricacies of pure comparative negligence can be complex. A personal injury attorney is the best person to help you navigate your case.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Most states use modified comparative negligence. In these states, a plaintiff cannot receive compensation for damages if they are found to be at fault for a specified percentage of the accident. The percentage will vary from state to state but will typically fall between 50 to 51 percent. California chooses to use pure comparative negligence in its personal injury cases.

Pure comparative negligence allows one party involved in an accident to sue another party involved in that same accident for damages, even if the suing party is responsible for more than half of the cause for the injuries incurred. When using pure comparative negligence, each party’s level of negligence is what determines the damage amount payable by both parties. 

How California Determines Negligence Levels

In most cases, a jury will determine the level of negligence and what is owed by each party. A jury will make their decision based on the evidence presented, which leaves the burden of proof on the plaintiff. The jury will hear from all parties involved, which can include:

Once statements have been heard, a jury will allocate the percentage of negligence to each party in the case. All 12 jurors must come to a unanimous verdict on the case or else the judge can declare a mistrial, allowing a retrying of the case with a new jury.

Contact a Riverside County, CA Personal Injury Attorney

Understanding pure comparative negligence and a jury’s role in your personal injury lawsuit is crucial when seeking injury compensation. Evidence is key in swaying the jury toward seeing the truth of the matter – compensation is necessary for your pain and suffering. An adept Temecula, CA personal injury lawyer, like those from the Maineri Law Firm, will fight tooth and nail to help you acquire the compensation you are due. Contact our office for a free consultation at 951-698-4200 so that we can discuss your case.

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