Negotiating the Lanes of Comparative Negligence: Personal Injury and Car Accidents in San Diego, California

A car accident can happen in a split second, but its impact can last a lifetime. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in San Diego, California, it’s crucial to understand how fault and liability work, particularly when multiple parties may be to blame. In this article, we’re taking a detour from the beaten path to discuss a specific law: comparative negligence.

California is a “pure comparative negligence” state, meaning that if you’re involved in a car accident, the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by an amount that is equivalent to your percentage of fault. So, if a jury decides you’re 30% at fault and your damages are $100,000, you’ll only be able to recover $70,000.

This law may seem straightforward on the surface, but applying it can be complex. Determining the exact percentage of fault often requires detailed investigation, expert testimony, and a deep understanding of California car accident law.

Furthermore, the law’s application extends beyond the courtroom. During settlement negotiations, insurance companies often use comparative negligence as a tool to devalue claims. For instance, they might argue that you were partially at fault for the accident in an attempt to reduce the amount they have to pay.

It’s important to note that the burden of proof is on the defendant (or the insurance company) to prove the plaintiff’s negligence. So, if you’re faced with a comparative negligence argument, don’t accept it without a fight.

An experienced San Diego car accident attorney can make a significant difference in how the comparative negligence rule applies in your case. They can help gather evidence, counter comparative negligence arguments, and ensure that your claim is valued fairly. They can also bring in accident reconstruction experts or other specialists who can help show exactly what happened and who was at fault.

Moreover, an attorney can help handle insurance companies and their tactics. Armed with knowledge and experience, your attorney can push back against lowball settlement offers and attempts to shift more of the blame onto you.

Further down the road, if your case goes to trial, your attorney can present your case in the most persuasive light possible to minimize your assigned percentage of fault. This can have a substantial impact on the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.

It’s also worth noting that California does not limit the amount of damages you can recover in a personal injury case, even if your percentage of fault is high. This means, for example, that even if you were 90% at fault for the accident, you could still potentially recover 10% of your total damages.

Navigating a car accident claim in California can be a complex process, particularly when comparative negligence comes into play. The stakes are high and the rules are intricate, which is why having an experienced attorney on your side can be invaluable.

A skilled San Diego personal injury attorney can guide you through the maze of laws and procedures, defend your rights, and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Don’t face the aftermath of a car accident alone. Reach out to a legal professional in your area for assistance, and get the support you need to move forward.

Get in touch with a truck accident lawyer at Jeffery Estes Injury Lawyers today.


Reach them at:




Phone: 760-640-7116

Address:80300 Via Valerosa, Indio, CA 92253






Phone: 619-233-8021

Address: 501 West Broadway, Suite 1650 San Diego, CA 92101





Phone: 858-500-1008

Address: 864 Prospect Street, Suite C, La Jolla, CA 92037


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