If you were in a car accident, sustained injuries, and were partly at fault in the accident, you may still have a right to recover compensation for your damages, which may include compensation for your injuries, property damages, and other losses resulting from the accident. Being partly at fault does not mean that you do not recover any compensation for your injuries; rather, it will depend on how much you were at fault.
California is called a comparative fault state, which means that when there is a car accident for which more than one driver is responsible, each driver’s contribution to the car accident is assessed to determine how much compensation a driver can receive. For example, suppose you are driving on a four-lane street and a driver in the lane next to you merges into your lane. The driver does not signal or look over his shoulder to see if there is a car in his blind spot, and he hits your car. The other driver’s unsafe merger causes you to suffer physical injuries and car damage, totaling $10,000 in damages. An investigation finds that while the other driver was 90% at fault, you were 10% at fault because you were driving 20 miles above the speed limit, which contributed to the accident. Consequently, if your recovery totals $10,000 for the damages you sustained from the car accident, your recovery will be proportionally reduced by your fault, which in this example would be 10% or $1,000, leaving you with a total recovery of $9,000.