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Multiple Fault Accidents in California

Home » Multiple Fault Accidents in California
November 26, 2017
Edward Smith

Multiple Fault Accidents in California
Multiple Fault Accidents in California

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis car accident lawyer. In many cases, it will be clear that a single driver is at-fault for the collision and can be held responsible for damages and injuries. However, it is also often the case that both the injured party and the driver of the other vehicle share responsibility for the accident. In these types of cases, many injured parties are unsure about what rights they have to recover compensation for their damages because of the role they played in the collision. Learn more about this in the information below.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law

California is one of the many states that have what is called a comparative negligence law. Comparative negligence laws govern situations in which more than one involved party has some measure of fault in an accident. However, unlike many other states, California’s law doesn’t prohibit you from receiving compensation if your determined percentage of accident fault is too high.

California’s law follows a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that you are able to recover compensation even if your responsibility for the accident is determined to be 99 percent. This differs from many other states, which prohibit parties from recovering compensation if they are determined to be over 50 percent responsible for the collision.

Reduction and Percentage of Fault

If you are 99 percent at fault for an accident, your ability to recover compensation is still reduced under California law. Under California’s pure comparative negligence standard, compensation awards to injured parties are reduced by the party’s percentage of accident fault.

This means that if an injured party is determined to have been 50 percent at fault for an accident, they will be able to recover only 50 percent of the compensation they would have been able to recover if the accident was not their fault at all. Likewise, if you have 60 percent accident responsibility, you will only be able to recover 40 percent of your compensation reward; if you are 90 percent responsible, you can recover a 10 percent reward, etc.

Multiple Parties

This law additionally governs collisions wherein there are more than two parties involved in the collision, such as freeway pileups with multiple vehicles. When these situations occur, California law states that each party is only liable for its total percentage of fault, meaning that if one driver has 30 percent responsibility, they will be held responsible for paying 20 percent of the total compensation award.

This law is typically applied in courts when juries are trying to assign fault for a collision. However, insurance companies also frequently apply this law when they are trying to find a way to reduce the amount of compensation they are required to pay to individuals who’ve received damages.

More Blogs by Davis Car Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith

Davis Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis car accident lawyer. Collisions can result in serious injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a crash, contact me at (530) 392-9400 for some friendly, free advice. I am also available at (800) 404-5400 and

For over 35 years, my team and I have assisted Davis area residents with receiving what they are legally owed in cases of personal injury and wrongful death.

Reviews from my clients have been written on Yelp, Avvo, and Google.

I’m in a forum comprised of U.S trial. attorneys with previous verdicts and settlements for cases worth $1 million or more – Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

See my Past Settlements and Verdicts here. is the best site in Northern California for news and info on car accidents and personal injury.

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