Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles can result in severe or even deadly injuries, and victims can turn to civil court to claim compensation for their losses.
If you suffered injuries while riding your bicycle because a negligent driver hit you, you could recover damages even if you bear a portion of the liability.
What is pure comparative negligence?
California applies the pure comparative negligence rule to personal injury cases involving shared fault. According to the legal concept, the court determines what percentage of liability belongs to both parties. They then total the value of damages incurred based on medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and more.
The award you receive will equal the total damages minus an amount reflective of your percentage of fault. For example, if you had $10,000 in damages and were 20% at fault, you would still recover $8,000.
How do you determine the level of responsibility for each party?
Should your case make it to the courtroom, the general basis of deciding the percentage of the fault falls on the defendant’s ability to prove you were negligent. Additionally, they must show that your negligence played a substantial role in causing your injuries.
Is comparative negligence different from contributory negligence?
California once followed the contributory negligence rule for shared fault, which does not allow the plaintiff to recover damages if they are at all responsible. However, that no longer applies.
Since 1975, bicycle accident victims can be as much as 99% liable and still recover a portion of their losses.