“It takes communication, compassion and negotiation to get results, not a bulldog in the courtroom. Nice guys don’t always finish last.”

– Scott Blumen

Can you file a claim if you contributed to your car accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you played a role in a car accident, you might think it disqualifies you from claiming compensation by holding the other party liable. Well, it’s not the case. Your contribution to a crash in California does not mean you cannot seek damages for the harm and losses you suffered.

You are still entitled to compensation to the extent you were not at fault for the accident, regardless of whether you were 99% responsible. Usually, this percentage is assigned after an examination of the circumstances that led to the crash. Police reports, statements from the parties involved in the crash, eyewitness testimony and even input from accident reconstruction experts may inform your level of fault.

Your contribution will impact the amount of compensation

While California law does not bar you from filing a car accident claim despite your contribution to the crash, your degree of involvement will directly diminish your recoverable compensation. For instance, let’s say you were 30% at fault and damages total $80,000. In such a case, you are only entitled to 70% of the damages, amounting to $56,000.

It underscores the importance of understanding what goes into calculating each party’s fault for the crash and what you can do to safeguard your interests.

Fault assessments are not always accurate

The level of fault or responsibility for the crash may not always reflect your actual involvement. Remember, a lot of variables are involved in calculating each party’s level of fault. If you feel the fault assessment is inaccurate, you have the right to dispute it. Seeking legal guidance is crucial as it will help you understand your rights and present a strong argument that will increase the chances of a favorable settlement.