Can I claim personal injury if the accident was my fault?
California follows what is known as a pure comparative negligence system. This means that even if a car accident was your fault, you may still be able to claim personal injury damages. As long as you were not 100% at fault for the crash, you could still recover with the help of a skilled California personal injury attorney.
When two people are at fault in a car accident, each driver will be assigned a percentage of fault for the collision. This determination is made in a number of ways, such as through an analysis of the police report, accident reconstruction reports, and the testimony of expert witnesses. Your recovery for damages will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault for the accident.
Consider a situation where you caused an accident because you turned out onto a road from a parking lot without making sure that it was clear, striking a car. It may seem that you were the one at fault for this accident — but what if the other driver was texting and failed to see you turn onto the road, avoiding a chance to stop as a result? In this case, you may both be responsible for the accident. If you are 70% at fault and the other driver is 30% at fault, then any damages that you have will be reduced by 70%. For example, if you suffered $20,000 in damages, then this amount will be reduced by $14,000 for a total recovery of $6,000.