Drivon Turner & Waters,PLC

Can one sue someone even if they were negligent?

Many people file legal claims following an accident to recover damages to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses. Generally, the injured party will allege that the defendant's negligence caused their car accident and injuries, and ideally, will prove their claim and receive financial compensation.

However, not every case is so clear cut. In many cases, both parties are negligent and both parties may have played a role in causing the accident. For example, if one were driving on the highway and collided with another vehicle that entered their lane, both could have been negligent. The other driver may have been negligent in that he made an unsafe lane change or failed to keep a proper lookout. One may have also failed to keep a proper lookout or failed to pay attention (e.g., texting at the time of the accident).

If a party is negligent, each state has their own laws regarding whether that party can recover damages from the other party. California's negligence laws follow the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that someone who was injured in an accident can recover damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident. The judge or jury will decide how much fault to attribute to the plaintiff and reduce their damages accordingly. For example, in the above example, the jury may find one 40 percent at fault for the collision. If they were awarded $100,000 in damages, that amount may be reduced to $60,000, in accordance with the jury's fault apportionment. California follows the doctrine of "pure" comparative negligence, which means that one can still recover damages even if they are more than 50 percent at fault.

If one was partially responsible for their own injuries in an accident, they can still recover damages in California. A personal injury attorney can review one's case and give an idea of how much to expect to recover.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

215 North San Joaquin Street Stockton, CA 95202 Phone: 209-800-8971 Fax: 209-463-7668 STOCKTON LAW OFFICE MAP