Can You Still Recover Money Damages If You Are Responsible For A Car Accident?
The answer is yes. Even if you are responsible for a car accident in California, you are still entitled to compensation so long as you are not 100% at fault. The reason for this is that California is what is referred to as a “comparative fault” state.
WHAT IS COMPARATIVE FAULT?
Comparative fault allows you to recover even if you are 99% at fault. Fault in “comparative fault” jurisdictions like California apportion fault by percentage. For example, one party can be 70% at fault and the other 30%. Even if you are the one that was more at fault for the car accident, you are still entitled to money damages. It does not matter so long as you are not fully (or 100%) at fault for the accident.
Other states (not California) have different forms of fault allocation. For example, in Montana if you are 51% at fault you cannot recover anything.
California laws are very favorable in this regard and that is why it is important to establish proper liability and liability allocation between the parties. This can be achieved with the help of an experienced attorney.
In comparative fault jurisdictions like California, it is important to hire an attorney to help establish liability or to prove that the other driver is more liable for the accident than you are. This will increase the value of your case and your ability to recover money damages.
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