California Auto-Accident Law – Pure Comparative Negligence
When filing for an auto accident claim in the state of California, you might face something
called a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction.
Pure comparative negligence is a system created to associate liability between a defendant
and a victim in an auto accident case. It can be used to help resolve confusion in situations
involving multiple defendants such as pile-up crashes.
What does this mean?
Let’s say there is a collision at an intersection due to the defendant running a red light. The
defendant’s liability in the case may be reduced if it turns out that the victim had been driving
over the speed limit at the time of the accident. The compensation for damages during the
accident will be dependent on the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident.
Now, let’s say that the victim was not speeding at the time of the collision, but a driver behind
the victim was, and he or she crashed into the victim and caused a pile-up collision. The pure
comparative negligence system allows for liability and compensation to be dispersed fairly
among all of those involved.
California is one of thirteen states that recognize this Pure Comparative Fault Rule. The other
states that follow this same rule are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington. Thirty-three
states that do not follow the Pure Comparative Negligence Rule follow the Modified
Comparative Fault Rule, twelve states follow the 50 percent Bar Rule, and twenty-one states
follow the 51 percent Bar Rule.
The Modified Comparative Fault Rule is a common approach where a plaintiff will not receive
compensation if they are found equally or more responsible for the injuries as a result of the
The 50 percent Bar Rule is an approach in which the plaintiff’s recovery will be barred if his or
her percentage of fault is greater than or equal to 50%.
The 51 percent Bar Rule is when the plaintiff cannot receive any recovery if there is 51% or
more fault at the hand of the plaintiff.
So, what now?
So, what happens if you have been in an automobile accident?
First things first, you should ensure your safety and the safety of anyone else in your vehicle.
You must report your accident to local authorities and your insurance, as well as collect the
insurance of the other individual or individuals involved in the accidents.
The steps following these actions should most likely include contacting a local accident
attorney if you are facing any serious injuries, damages, or needs for compensation that will be
decided in a court of law. Now, you do not necessarily need an attorney to represent you, but it
would be in your own best interest to look into it.
If you or a loved one have been in an automobile accident in Southern California and need
representation, visit ledgerlaw.com or contact The Ledger Law Firm at 1(800) 300-0001. When
visiting the website, you have the option to receive a free consultation!