Comparative Negligence: What does it mean to be partially at fault for my injury?
California courts follow the legal doctrine of “comparative negligence”. Pursuant to this principle, the respective fault of every party involved in an accident is considered. For instance, when a drunk driver hits a motorcyclist who was crossing a street when the light was red, the motorcyclist is partially at fault for the accident and the resulting injuries. If a plaintiff is found to be 25% at fault, the defendant’s degree of fault is reduced to 75%, and the level of plaintiff’s compensation is decreased accordingly. In this example, if a jury’s verdict is $100,000, the plaintiff’s final trial award will be $75,000.