Understanding Comparative Negligence in Modesto Personal Injury Cases

by Staff Blogger | July 21st, 2023

When you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand the law and contact an attorney. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our team of experience personal injury attorneys in Modesto, California can help you navigate uncertain times and fight for any compensation you may be owed.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative Negligence is a principle used to assign portions of damages to the parties involved in a personal injury case. According to this rule, the court calculates how much the injured victim should receive by reducing the total damages by the percentage of the plaintiff’s negligence.

It basically means determining who is at fault for what when an accident occurs. Different states apply the negligence rule differently. California, for example, follows the pure comparative negligence rule. Here, victims get compensation only for the damages that do not result from their own negligence. After determining the total damages, the payable amount is reduced by the percentage of the victim’s fault.

The contributory negligence rule is another one you might hear, but this one is different than comparative. If a state follows the contributory negligence rule, the injured victim cannot recover any damages if they contributed even slightly to their own injuries. However, as mentioned above, the comparative negligence rule allows victims to recover damages even if they are only partly to blame.

Some states have modified comparative fault rules, but Modesto follows California’s pure comparative negligence rule.

What Role Does Negligence Play in Modesto Personal Injury Cases?

After an accident, the question of who is responsible is the basis for personal injury cases in California. For example, suppose you’re approaching a business building and accidentally slip and fall on an icy walkway. Depending on various circumstances, you could be owed compensation for your medical expenses. Damages could include pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income from being unable to work.

Victims may argue that the premises owner did not take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their visitors. On the other hand, the building’s owner may assert that the victim was texting while walking and, therefore, is responsible for the damages. The comparative fault law would mean investigating both scenarios to determine a percentage of fault by each party.

Modesto’s comparative negligence law states that the plaintiff and the defendant can share the blame equally or differently. And because the role of compensation is to make the victim whole, payment should cover only the defendant’s share of the responsibility. In other words, victims must compensate themselves for their own negligence.

Insurance adjusters are tasked with determining how much fault the victim is responsible for and then making recommendations for payment. However, victims must remember that insurance adjusters will do their best to minimize compensation. With the guidance of a personal injury attorney, Modesto victims can successfully recover the compensation they deserve.

How a Modesto Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Modesto’s personal injury laws are unique to California. Because most first-time claim applicants aren’t sure where to start, they’re in a better position to recover fair compensation if they enlist the services of a personal injury attorney in Modesto.

An attorney can ensure that victims do not forfeit their right to compensation even if they’re partly liable for their injuries.

Additionally, experienced lawyers can relieve the stress of filing paperwork, breaking down legal jargon, and handling correspondence with insurance companies and the defendant’s legal team.

In Modesto, personal injury victims don’t receive compensation for their part in the incident. We advise any injured victims to contact Berg Injury Lawyers, who will take up the claim with the insurance company. The initial consultation is free and we don’t get paid unless you win.