There are two means of securing justice after a California car crash leaves you with injuries and property damage expenses. You can file an insurance claim, and you may be able to take the other driver to civil court.
Although fault is often black and white after a car crash, sometimes the situation is a bit more complex. If you made a minor mistake that contributed to the collision, will that mistake in judgment damage your right to claim financial compensation?
Contributory negligence can affect your court case
When someone defending against a personal injury claim blames you and says your contributions are partially the reason for the collision, they assert comparative negligence.
If the courts agree with the claim that you are partially to blame for the crash, that may prevent you from making a claim in court. Since the 1970s, California has enforced a pure comparative negligence standard. If you contributed to your injury, the percentage of fault you have for the situation will impact how much compensation you receive in a successful lawsuit.
Small mistakes won’t prevent insurance claims
While your comparative negligence or contributions to the crash can limit when you receive when taking someone to court over the wreck, it generally will not affect your insurance rights. If the police report shows that the other driver is to blame for the wreck, then you can likely make a claim for property damage losses, hospital bills and lost wages even if you forgot to use your blinker or made some other minor mistake in traffic.
Understanding what rules apply to California personal injury claims can help you get compensation when you get hurt in a crash largely through the fault of someone else.