It may sound absurd, but you can actually recover compensation for an accident you were at fault for. Don’t be surprised, however, if you won’t be able to obtain monetary compensation for everything.
Let’s say you crashed your vehicle into another car while speeding in Los Angeles. Clearly, you’re at fault for the accident. But you were injured, and your vehicle was destroyed, and you’re dealing with severe pain and suffering.
Can you obtain compensation for any of the above-mentioned even though you were at fault? Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney Howard Craig Kornberg says you can. Let’s figure out what types of damages can be recovered in a car accident for the at-fault party, and what types will not be recovered.
What damages can you recover if you were at fault?
If we look at the above-mentioned example with the car accident, it’s pretty obvious that the at-fault motorist will require insurance coverage for injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and probably even lost wages.
Can he or she obtain all that? Not all of it, our best personal injury attorneys in California explained. The thing is, while insurers will most likely cover the medical expenses and car repair costs – and probably even pay for the driver’s lost wages, depending on the type of auto insurance coverage – pain and suffering are not recoverable for at-fault parties.
Under federal and state laws in California, even at-fault parties can bring up a personal injury claim, though it does not mean that they will be paid for everything in the claim.
The value of the settlement they can hope for also largely depends on the circumstances of the accident and the type of insurance coverage that the individual carried at the time of the accident.
Why isn’t pain and suffering recoverable?
Typically, the at-fault party will not be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, which is usually included in the “general damages” section of an insurance settlement or in a lawsuit.
The victim of the accident, on the other hand, will be entitled to this type of damages even if the at-fault party suffered more physical, emotional or mental harm as a result of the accident than the victim.
But it’s much more complicated than it seems…
However, it cannot all be summarized in black and white, our personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles insists. After all, Angeles and all other cities across California apply a “pure” theory of comparative negligence.
Under this legal doctrine – applied all across the state – each party involved in an accident will have his or her compensation limited by the amount they were negligent in the accident.
Meaning: multiple parties can be partially responsible for causing an accident, our Los Angeles personal injury attorney explains. If the accident was only partially your fault, then you can even seek damages for pain and suffering in California.
Let’s get back to our car accident example above. So, you crashed your vehicle while speeding, but what we didn’t mention was that the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and strayed into your lane, violating traffic rules.
As a result, you were determined to be only 20% at fault for speeding, and the other driver was determined to be 80% at fault for DUI and violating traffic laws. In that case, even though you were speeding, you can still recover all the damages, including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage.
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Still confused? Let our personal injury lawyers walk you through the process of filing a claim in Los Angeles and explain what type of damages could be recovered in your particular case after thoroughly evaluating your circumstances.