Comparative negligence systems are of two types: “modified” and “pure”. The pure comparative negligence system compensates plaintiffs only when their fault does not go beyond a certain percentage. It is up to the judge or jury to determine the portion of the fault that is attributable to parties involved in an injury case.
California uses the latter system to decide the ultimate compensation granted to plaintiffs. The system may serve as a defense for one defendant in an automobile accident case with many defendants. California’s judicial system permits one to claim comparative negligence defense to reduce their fault in an accident. For instance, one who is only 20% at fault for causing a car collision will be 20% responsible for the eventual grant that the plaintiff party gets. Conversely, one who is 95% at fault should cover that much percentage of the damages which the other party receives. In the event the court finds a party has incurred $50,000 in damages, then one who is 95% at fault has to pay $47,500 to that person. The jury or judge is tasked with finding out the percentage of responsibility allocated to each defendant, in addition to the amount of compensation for damages a plaintiff party is entitled to get.
The total damages grant is composed of punitive, non-economic and monetary damages. The third damages are the ones that are easily worked out and include medical expenses and lost wages. The court of law has greater discretion when it comes to working out the total non-monetary damages which a plaintiff party may get. As the name implies, non-economic damages are those granted for loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and so forth.
As per the California Civil Code section 3294, punitive damages are those resulting from fraudulent, oppressive or malicious behavior regarded as being caused by the defendant. The plaintiff party has to prove punitive damages through convincing and clear evidence.
Kinds of Accident Cases that Involve Pure Comparative Negligence
Accident injury lawyers handle many different cases involving pure comparative negligence. Some of these kinds of cases are as follows.
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Personal Injury Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Other Vehicular Accidents
- Boating Accidents
In addition to automobile accidents that involve this form of negligence, there are certain cases wherein a plaintiff’s recovery might just be reduced by their own negligence. As per the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), distracted driving is the cause of 80% of vehicle accidents.