damages when at fault for a car crash attorneys

People who negligently injure others or who cause property damage can be held legally responsible. The person hurt or suffering a loss is usually entitled to monetary compensation. However, it’s often the case that two or more parties are at fault for causing an accident. In that event, the fault must be apportioned to determine each party’s share of damages.

California’s rule of pure comparative negligence allows a person who is partially responsible for an accident to recover the portion of losses that are not attributable to his or her own negligence. For example, suppose that drivers A and B are in an automobile accident. While A was not hurt and had minor property damage, B suffered $100,000 worth of injuries and other losses. B is found to have been 75 percent at fault for the accident. B’s recovery is therefore $25,000. “Pure” comparative negligence means that even if B were found to be 99 percent responsible for the accident, he or she could still recover 1 percent of the losses.

Apportioning fault is not an exact science. It is often very difficult to quantify the degree to which a person failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. An experienced auto accident attorney can evaluate the case, gather all relevant evidence and make the best arguments why the defendant should bear the brunt of responsibility for causing the accident and why the plaintiff’s share of fault should be reduced. This sometimes requires experts in the field of accident reconstruction. The assignment of fault becomes even more difficult in multivehicle accidents or when external causes like weather and road conditions are involved.

Figuring an appropriate damage award can be difficult as well. Certain losses such as medical bills, lost wages and car repair expenses are easily quantifiable. However, other recoverable losses are much less certain. Putting values on pain and suffering, loss of family relationships and impaired enjoyment of life activities cannot be reduced to an exact formula. A judge or jury must rely on common sense and personal experience

Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, with offices in Fairfield and Vallejo, California, serves clients the North Bay area in a wide range of personal injury cases. If you have been hurt in an automobile accident, contact us online or call 707-674-6057 for a free initial consultation.