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California Comparative Fault Car Accident Jury Instruction

[Name of defendant] claims that [name of plaintiff]’s own negligence contributed to [his/her] harm. To succeed on this claim, [name of defendant] must prove both of the following:

1.That [name of plaintiff] was negligent; and
2.That [name of plaintiff]’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing [his/her] harm.
If [name of defendant] proves the above, [name of plaintiff]’s damages are reduced by your determination of the percentage of [name of plaintiff]’s responsibility. I will calculate the actual reduction.

California is a comparative fault state, meaning if both defendant and plaintiff were negligent in an auto accident, plaintiff can still recover damages, but the damages will be reduced by the percentage of plaintiff’s liability.

California adopted the comparative fault system in 1975 in the Li case where the court stated, “[W]e conclude that: … The doctrine of comparative negligence is preferable to the ‘all-or-nothing’ doctrine of contributory negligence from the point of view of logic, practical experience, and fundamental justice; … .” (Li v. Yellow Cab Co. (1975) 13 Cal.3d 804, 808 [119 Cal.Rptr. 858, 532 P.2d 1226].)

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, general damages, pain and suffering, etc. Call Morales Law today for a free consultation (805) 845-5405.