If you are injured in an auto accident, any involved insurance companies will want to know who was at fault. That is because insurance companies don't want to take responsibility and pay for a claim that is the responsibility of someone else. Proving who is at fault for an accident is a crucial step in getting compensation, whether your own carelessness contributed to the accident or not.
In California auto accidents, a percentage of fault can be assigned to each driver. In other personal injury accidents, fault can be assigned to you and any other parties involved, including a business or property owner.
Under California's pure comparative negligence rule, you can sue another driver and pursue compensation even if you are partially responsible for the accident. However, your own carelessness can impact your claim.
How Your Own Carelessness Impacts Your Personal Injury Claim
After an auto accident, insurance companies and involved attorneys will carefully review evidence and testimony from the accident. Then, a percentage of fault will be established. If you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, then you can still pursue compensation, but any settlement amount will be reduced by 20 percent.
However, if you are found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, you may not be able to pursue compensation, even from the other party's insurance company. One common example is a rear-end accident, which almost always is the fault of the behind driver. However, if your tail lights were not working, then you will bear some degree of fault as well.
To determine how responsible you are for the accident, insurance companies, your attorney and the court will consider factors including:
· The police report
· Evidence from the accident
· Video or photos of the accident
· Witness statements
This process can take time and be overwhelming. It is highly recommended that you consult with a personal injury attorney before attempting to negotiate any personal injury claim. Whether you are five percent or 49.8 percent responsible, you may be eligible for compensation.