California Negligence Laws in the Event of an Accident in San Diego

After a traffic accident in San Diego, most people are anxious and confused about what steps to take to deal with medical bills, property damage, or taking time off from work to recover. California negligence laws can seem complex and frustrating to those without an extensive background in personal injury. If you have been injured, you should first contact a San Diego auto accident lawyer to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss the details of your accident and have your case evaluated.

What Constitutes Negligence

“Negligence” is the term used to describe actions, behavior, or conduct
that conflict with the standard requirements of due diligence and care. In some cases, negligence laws also penalize a person’s failure to act, such as if a person walked past someone else drowning in a lake and did nothing to help.

Typically, negligence in the case of a traffic accident includes the following elements:

  • a defendant’s duty to exercise care;
  • a failure to uphold that duty;
  • a causal relationship between the breach of duty and the harm the plaintiff incurred;
  • the harm was foreseeable; and
  • damages incurred by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

California‘s Pure Comparative Negligence System

California and most of the other states in the U.S. use what’s called a comparative negligence system. Under this system, any person injured in an accident can recover damages from an at-fault party in proportion to their liability for the accident. For instance, if you are in an accident and you file a claim for $10,000 in damages, and the defendant is found to be 75% at-fault and you are 25% at fault, then the defendant would be responsible for $7,500 to you in damages.

However, there are a few different kinds of comparative fault. For instance, 33 states use a modified comparative system, in which a claimant can recover funds only if he or she is found to be less than 49% or 50% (depending on the state) responsible for the accident. On the other hand, California, along with 12 other states, follow a pure comparative negligence system, and you, the claimant, can recover funds even if you are 99% guilty for the accident.

So, in a California accident case, a judge or jury will assign a percentage of liability to each party and the damages will be split according to that percentage of fault no matter what that split is.

Help After an Accident in San Diego

When the unthinkable happens and you or a loved one is injured in an accident in San Diego, know that you don’t have to face this challenge alone. The San Diego auto accident lawyer team at the law offices of Keith J. Stone are here to provide all of the information you need about California negligence laws so you can make informed choices about your personal injury claim. We even offer a FREE auto accident guide for Southern California residents. If you’re looking for personalized care and attention at this vulnerable time, contact our offices today – 619-531-2022 or toll free at 888-59-HELP-NOW.

The San Diego-based Office of attorney Keith J. Stone serves the following areas in Southern California: