Comparative negligence is a legal concept used to determine fault and damages in personal injury cases. Under comparative negligence, the amount of compensation awarded to the injured party is reduced based on their degree of fault in the accident.
In contrast to contributory negligence, which bars recovery for any damages if the injured party is found to be even partially at fault, comparative negligence allows for recovery of damages in proportion to the degree of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident.
Comparative negligence, is used to blame two or more people based on the degree of negligence each contributed to the incident. In other words, when an injured victim is partially at fault because of their negligence, the court may allocate a percentage of responsibility to the injured victim that could reduce their damages in the case.
Types of comparative Negligence
In personal injury cases, comparative negligence determines the amount of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident and the degree to which their actions contributed to the injury. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are different types of comparative negligence that can be used:
Pure Comparative Negligence
Under pure comparative negligence, the injured party is entitled to recover damages for their injuries even if they were found to be mostly at fault for the accident. The damages awarded to the injured party are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. For example, if the injured party is found to be 60% at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 60%. This type of comparative negligence is followed in some states, such as California and New York.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Under modified comparative negligence, the injured party is entitled to recover damages for their injuries only if they were less than a certain percentage at fault for the accident. For example, if the threshold is 50%, the injured party cannot recover damages if they were found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident. If the injured party is found to be less than 50% at fault, their damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. This type of comparative negligence is followed in some states, such as Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, and the majority of other States.
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It's normal to feel overwhelmed or frustrated when fault in an accident or crash is not clear cut or straightforward and some of the facts are more complicated. If you have questions about a complicated comparative negligence claim where liability is not completely clear, don't hesitate to contact Whalen Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options. You may be eligible to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and property damage.