Being injured in an accident involving a semi-truck can often lead to considerable medical bills and, possibly, missed wages, if you have to take time off of work. With those financial impacts in mind, some victims of semi-truck accidents opt to seek compensation for their injuries.
In California, the legal concept of pure comparative fault governs awards in personal injury cases. This means that any injured party can seek compensation from any party that was at least 1 percent responsible for the accident occurring. Any award in a personal injury case is reduced by the percentage of fault the complainant had in the accident.
For example, if a semi-truck driver isn’t paying attention to the road and slams into a vehicle, the vehicle occupants who were injured in the accident can seek compensation from the driver and possibly related parties, like the trucking company. If, however, it was discovered that the vehicle didn’t have working brake lights, a percentage of fault for the accident might be assigned to the vehicle owner. In that case, the vehicle owner’s award of compensation would be reduced by that percentage of fault.
In that same case, the trucker could also seek compensation for any injuries. The trucker’s claim would be reduced by the percent of fault that he or she had in the accident.
This means that if the trucker was 90 percent at fault and the vehicle owner was 10 percent at fault, the trucker would end up with 10 percent of any compensation awarded and the vehicle owner would end up with the remaining 90 percent.
Understanding this concept, as well as other concepts used in personal injury cases, can help people seeking compensation in California.