Getting into a car accident is never part of a person’s plan when he or she leaves the house. Unfortunately, there are accidents that occur that aren’t your fault. When that happens, it might be possible to seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident. Our readers in California might be interested in learning about some of the basic concepts involved in a personal injury accident case. Fault and negligence are two of the concepts you should know if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
What is fault?
Fault refers to who caused the accident. In some cases, both parties are at fault for the accident. When that occurs, there is a possibility of receiving compensation based on comparative negligence. This concept allows a person who is partially at fault for an accident to receive a percentage of an award based on the percentage of fault each party holds. For example, if a complainant is 10 percent responsible for an accident, the complainant could get a 90 percent settlement. That means for a $10,000 award, the complainant would get $9,000.
What is negligence?
Negligence means doing something careless that leads to an accident. Complainants in a personal injury case usually have to prove that the other party was negligent. There are five elements of proving negligence: duty, breach of duty, cause in fact, proximate cause and damages. By working with someone familiar with the concept of negligence, you can determine if your case meets all five elements necessary to prove negligence. From there, you can decide how to move forward with your claims.
Source: FindLaw, “Accident Fault FAQ” Dec. 28, 2014