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What if you're partly to blame for causing an accident?

It is not hard to imagine a scenario where more then one person, or more then one contributing factor may be the cause of an accident. Nevertheless, when you are injured as the result of an accident, even if you were partly at fault, you still want to know what your legal rights and remedies are. Who will be responsible for the high cost of medical bills, vehicle repairs and other damages?

When you are involved in a multi-vehicle accident, it is often the case that more then one party will be partially, but not entirely at fault. Imagine a situation where you are traveling through a crowded intersection and you are speeding through a green light, another driver is texting and fails to fully stop at the red light before taking a right hand turn; due to your high rate of speed you are unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. You and the other driver both suffer significant injuries and damage to your respective vehicles. Who is responsible?

The answer to this question depends largely upon where you live as States take varying approaches to these types of negligence claims. If you live in the State of California, the short answer is, both parties may be responsible. California follows a purely comparative negligence approach, meaning that each party may recover for damages based on their percentage of fault in contributing to the accident. For instance, if your speeding was determined to be a 20 percent cause of the accident and the other driver's distracted driving while texting was determined to be an 80 percent cause of the accident, you would be entitled to recover 80 percent of the total amount of damages, while the other driver could recover only 20 percent.

Even if you are partially at fault for a car accident you may still be able to recovery damages based on your degree of fault. Thus, under this approach it is clearly important to accurately determine the amount to which your actions may have contributed to the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess your claim and recover the damages that you deserve.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Comparative Negligence," accessed Dec. 6, 2017

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