California is one of several different states that use comparative negligence regarding motor vehicle accidents. In these states, a driver can be deemed 80% at fault for an auto accident and still collect damages for the remaining 20% fault that was placed on the other party. However, not all states follow this structure for recovering damages.
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence allows the fault of an accident to be shared between various parties. Each party is responsible for paying damages in an amount that is equal to the percentage of the accident that they were deemed at fault for. Both insurance companies and courts are able to assign fault in motor vehicle accidents.
In most cases, one party will have a higher percentage of negligence than another. The smallest percentage of fault for one party is referred to as contributory negligence. The party that is deemed to provide contributory negligence may seek damages for the remaining fault that was deemed the other party’s negligence.
Other types of negligence
Apart from comparative negligence, other states use different structures. These include modified comparative negligence and slight or gross negligence. In a modified comparative negligence state, if you’re found more than 50% at fault for an accident, you may not recover any monetary damages from the other party involved. In other states, each party is stated to either have slightly contributed to the accident or grossly contributed to the accident.
When you’re involved in an auto accident, fault will be determined. If you’re found at fault or partially at fault for the accident, it can affect your ability to seek compensation. Whether you’re able to recover damages from the other party highly depends on the laws that govern your individual state, so you may want to reach out to a local attorney to ask about your situation.