A San Diego woman was injured in a crash when her vehicle ran up a guy wire and overturned, according to recent reports. The 33-year-old driver from Escondido was traveling south on Auto Parkway near Valley Parkway when she attempted to make a left turn at Hale Avenue. She apparently drove onto the sidewalk and hit a guy wire attached to a utility pole. Her car then traveled up the wire and flipped over onto its roof.
Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. The victim was treated at a nearby hospital for serious injuries.
Many victims who are injured in a car crash believe that because they were partially responsible for the crash that they cannot collect damages. However, this is not true; in many cases, victims who share responsibility for an accident are able to recover partial damages from the other responsible party.
California allows partial liability claims under the doctrine of comparative negligence. Each state must decide for itself to what degree plaintiffs can sue another party for partial responsibility in an accident, and California has elected to follow the pure comparative negligence method as evidenced by the decision in Li v. Yellow Cab, 532 P.2d. 1226 in 1975.
Pure comparative negligence means that a plaintiff can claim or a jury can award as little as one percent of the total amount of damages involved in a case. To illustrate this principle, imagine that a car accident involved two drivers, both of whom were partially at fault; one for speeding, the other for running a red light. If the jury decided that the speeding driver was 20 percent at fault for the crash and the driver who ran the red light was 80 percent at fault, the speeding driver would be awarded $8,000 of a $10,000 total award.
This means that even if you are partially to blame for your own injury, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries. However, in a comparative liability case, insurance companies will often try to convince victims that they have little or no chance of winning an award and will try to force them to make a very small settlement in lieu of a lawsuit.
Contact Daniel M. Gilleon in San Diego for more information on how you can protect your rights in any accident case.