If you recently engaged in a truck accident in California and you are partially liable for causing the wreck, you may be wondering if you are barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. While you once would be if your actions played a role in causing the accident to transpire, after Li v. Yellow Cab, 119 Cal. Rptr. 858 (Cal. 1975) was brought before the courts, it was then that it was decided that the court system would no longer follow a contributory negligence system, but rather a comparative negligence system [Source: Stanford Law School].
To be clear, a contributory negligence system “bars all recovery when the plaintiff’s negligent conduct has contributed” to causing the incident to occur and a comparative negligence system allows an at fault plaintiff to still recover compensation for the injuries they sustained. However, a plaintiff would be limited in the amount they can recover if they were, in fact, found to be partially at fault for causing the wreck.
Here’s an example to help better clarify how the comparative negligence law works.
Let’s say you were driving down the road while traveling at a fast rate of speed. The speed limit was set at 40 mph, yet you were going 55 mph. As you approached an intersection, a large truck decides to make an illegal right turn right into the lane you were driving down and as a result, the two of you collide. Although the truck driver made the illegal turn which caused you to crash into them, you were also violating a law by speeding at a rate beyond the legal speed limit which prevented you from being able to stop in time to avoid a crash. Therefore, had you both been following the rules of the roadway, the accident probably would not have occurred.
Now, let’s say both you and the truck driver suffered injuries and decided to file a lawsuit against each other. Rather than being barred from taking legal action in an effort to recover compensation, you still hold the right to sue. However, before any amount can be awarded to either driver, the percentage of fault must be determined for each party. Once that percentage is determined, that amount would be subtracted from the amount you would have initially been entitled to collect.
So, you see, although the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive would be reduced based on your percentage of fault, the fact is, you are still permitted to pursue the other driver to recover compensation for the injuries and property damage that was sustained.
I was involved in a collision with a large truck where both of us were at fault? Should I sue?
If you engaged in an accident with a truck in the state of California and both of you are being held accountable for causing it, you may consider suing if you suffered serious injuries. The fact is, insurance companies generally will cover certain damages suffered in a wreck, however, you are limited to what the insurance policy will pay. If you find that the insurer responsible for compensating you cannot provide you with enough funds to cover the expenses incurred, then you may want to consider filing a lawsuit. Now, in order to do this, you will need a California truck accident lawyer to help you. USAttorneys.com works closely with some of the best lawyers in the field who specialize in truck accident law and would be more than happy to get you connected with one.
The reason you need to retain a lawyer is (1) to ensure the percentage of fault that you are being accused of is accurate and, (2) to help you determine what your damages (i.e. medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) are all worth. Therefore, if you would like to get connected with a local truck crash lawyer in the state of California or wish to learn more about the state’s comparative negligence law, contact USAttorneys.com to receive help in locating a legal professional in your area now.