blog home Personal Injury Understanding Negligence in Personal Injury Cases—California’s Comparative Negligence Explained

Understanding Negligence in Personal Injury Cases—California’s Comparative Negligence Explained

By Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie on October 16, 2023

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Accidents happen, but when they result in personal injury, understanding the element of potential negligence is crucial. At Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal complexities of personal injury. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of negligence and explain how California practices comparative negligence, and shed light on the legal nuances that can significantly impact your personal injury claim.

What Is Negligence in Personal Injury Cases?

Negligence is a fundamental legal concept in personal injury cases. It refers to the failure of an individual or entity to exercise reasonable care, leading to injury or harm to another person. In order to establish a personal injury claim, one generally needs to prove four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The defendant had a legal duty to act in a way that avoids causing harm to others
  2. Breach of Duty—The defendant failed to meet the duty of care
  3. Causation—The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  4. Damages—The plaintiff suffered real, compensable damages as a result of the injury.

Understanding these elements is crucial for building a strong personal injury case. Our attorneys at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie work with you to establish how the defendant’s negligence directly led to your injuries.

Comparative Negligence in California—What You Need to Know

California follows the legal principle of comparative negligence, which can significantly impact the outcome of a personal injury case. Comparative negligence recognizes that multiple parties can share responsibility for an accident, including the injured party.

In comparative negligence laws, the court determines the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident. This means that even if you, as the injured party, are partially responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, the compensation you receive is reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for a car accident, and the other driver was 80% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%. This legal approach ensures that liability is shared fairly among all parties involved.

Why Is Comparative Negligence Important?

Understanding comparative negligence is crucial for personal injury cases in California because it directly impacts the amount of compensation you can recover. By working with our experienced attorneys at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie, you can maximize your potential recovery, even if you share some degree of fault.

Negligence is a central concept in personal injury cases, and understanding California’s comparative negligence laws is vital when pursuing a claim. At Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie, we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the legal intricacies of personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek our legal guidance. We’re here to help you protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at for a consultation and let us be your advocates in your personal injury case.

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Posted in: Personal Injury



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