Sorting through the aftermath of an auto accident in Riverside County can be disorienting and stressful. In addition to seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you may also struggle with costly hospital bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the incident. As you start the process of pursuing compensation to assist you with these costs, several questions may arise. One major aspect of any auto accident claim in California is determining which driver was at fault for the accident. Let’s look at three common questions about the fault determination process in California.
What Does Pure Comparative Negligence Mean?
Like many states, California is what’s known as a “comparative negligence” state, meaning that the parties involved in an auto accident may only recover damages proportional to their degree of fault in contributing to the accident. There are three types of comparative negligence rules, and California follows the pure comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, you can still recover economic damages even if you are partly to blame for the accident.
Who Determines Fault?
Once the parties involved in the accident have reported the incident to their insurance companies, it’s up to the insurers to determine who was at fault. The insurance adjusters for each party will investigate the accident, looking at the drivers’ statements, witness statements, police reports, medical bills, and other relevant information to understand the bigger picture. From there, the insurance adjusters will calculate a percentage reflecting the degree to which each party carries the blame for the accident.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
In California, even drivers proven to be partially responsible for the accident may recover compensation. For example, perhaps the insurance adjusters find you 20 percent to blame for the accident. Under California’s comparative negligence rule, you may recover compensation; however, you’ll only be entitled to recover 80 percent of your compensation claim. Since auto compensation claims can be confusing to navigate, you should enlist the guidance of an experienced auto accident lawyer to discuss your situation. Your attorney can help you move through the process and secure you the compensation you need to support your recovery.
If you need help pursuing compensation following an auto accident injury in Temecula or Murrieta, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320.