In the event that you have the misfortune of being seriously injured, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for items such as lost earnings, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. But even if you do go forward and mount a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your injuries, you need to understand that in California your recovery will be limited under the doctrine called comparative negligence.

California adheres to a pure form of comparative negligence for personal injury cases. Pursuant to this doctrine, a plaintiff in a personal injury case can recover damages only for the portion of the accident that the victim did not cause. If the victim is found to be 51 percent at fault, the judgment to the injured victim will be reduced by 51 percent.

You should also know that:

  • Comparative negligence requires a plaintiff’s attorney to spend a fair amount of time proving the fault of each party involved in the personal injury lawsuit. This may make the discovery process longer.
  • An attorney for a defendant will work hard to lay the blame on the victim to reduce the amount of their responsibility for paying an award.
  • An attorney for a plaintiff will work hard to lessen any degree of fault on the part of the victim in order to maximize the settlement or jury award.

Posted in Personal Injury