What If I'm Partially At-Fault for An Accident in California?

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a frightening experience. You may even find yourself partially responsible for the accident. It is important to understand what this means for you legally and how it may impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. When you are partially at fault for an accident, you share some of the responsibility for the accident. Fault is often determined by insurance companies and legal authorities based on the evidence and statements provided by all parties involved. The degree of fault assigned to each party can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. 

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact The Barnes Firm. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case and help you navigate the legal process. Call us today at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE consultation and find out what your case is worth. 

What Happens If I Contributed to an Accident in California?

If you find yourself in a situation where you are partially at fault for an accident, there are a few steps you should take to prioritize your health, protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation. After any accident you should: 

  • Seek medical attention. Regardless of fault, it is crucial to prioritize your health and wellbeing. Make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. This will not only ensure you receive the necessary treatment, but will also create a record of your injuries, which is important when seeking compensation. 
  • Gather evidence. Collect as much evidence as possible to support your case. Take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Obtain copies of the police report and any witness statements. This evidence can help establish the facts and potentially reduce your level of fault. 
  • Understand California’s comparative negligence laws. In California, the comparative negligence law follows a system known as “pure comparative negligence.” This means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries or losses. 
  • Consult an attorney at The Barnes Firm. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney at The Barnes Firm can guide you through the legal process. We will review your case, analyze the evidence, and provide you with expert advice on the best course of action. An attorney will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation, regardless of your degree of liability in the accident. 

Understanding Comparative Negligence

In the event that you are partially at fault for an automobile accident, it is important to understand comparative negligence laws and how they may impact your case. In the state of California, the comparative negligence law follows a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that even if you are found to be 99% at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to recover 1% of the compensation. 

It is important to note that these states follow a “pure” system, which allows for recovery regardless of the degree of fault. This is different from other states that follow a “modified” comparative negligence system, where you may only be eligible for compensation if your percentage of fault is below a certain threshold, such as 50% or 51%. 

How is Fault Determined in an Accident?

When determining fault in an automobile accident, several factors are taken into consideration. These factors include: 

  • Police Report. The responding police officer will typically create a report detailing their findings and observations at the scene of the accident. This report can be crucial in determining fault, as it may include information about any traffic violations or negligent behavior. 
  • Eyewitness Statements. Testimonies and statements from individuals who witnessed the accident can provide valuable insight into what happened. Eyewitnesses may be able to provide details about the actions of each party involved, helping to establish fault. 
  • Accident Reconstruction. In some cases, accident reconstruction experts may be called upon to recreate the accident scene. By analyzing physical evidence, such as skid marks or vehicle damage, these experts can provide a detailed account of how the accident occurred, which can help determine fault. 
  • Traffic Laws. If one party violated a traffic law, such as running a red light or speeding, it can be used as evidence of negligence and fault. 
  • Expert Testimony. In complex cases, experts may be called upon to provide testimony regarding specific aspects of the accident. For example, a medical expert may testify about the severity of injuries, while an engineering expert may provide insight into how a mechanical failure contributed to the accident. 
  • Independent legal Investigation. After an accident, an attorney at The Barnes Firm will conduct their own investigation into the accident. They will review the evidence, interview witnesses, and assess the damages. The insurance company’s determination of fault may be used as evidence in a legal claim. 
  • Contact The Barnes Firm

    Fields marked with an * are required

Contact The Barnes Firm

At The Barnes Firm, we understand how traumatic multi-vehicle crashes can be for victims and their families. Our dedicated team of car accident attorneys will work hard to defend your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact The Barnes Firm. Call us today at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE consultation – it could be the best call you make.

five star reviews

“The Barnes Firm treated me like family with honesty and answered all my questions immediately with a strong resolution to the benefit of my family.”

Aminta N.

five star reviews

“Using The Barnes Firm for my accident case was the best decision ever. They were very helpful in getting me the satisfaction I needed from the wrong party involved in the accident and they got me more than I expected. They did an amazing job and were very helpful with getting everything in order. I am so thankful to have chosen them.”

Zaherah M.

five star reviews

“They definitely went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care of. The total process was a lot faster than expected and I was awarded more than expected.”

Shane B.