What is comparative negligence?
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What is comparative negligence?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Personal Injury

Negligence is an important legal idea that people use to figure out who is responsible in premises liability cases.

Sometimes, more than one person might be to blame for an accident. That is where comparative negligence comes in.

Defining comparative negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal rule used to decide who is at fault in cases when more than one person is responsible. Instead of putting all the blame on just one person, comparative negligence says that everyone involved might share some of the fault. They each get held accountable for their part in the accident.

Knowing the two main types

The two main types of comparative negligence are pure and modified. In pure comparative negligence, each person is responsible for the part they played in the accident. So if one person is 70% at fault and the other is 30%, the damages they have to pay get adjusted based on that.

In a modified comparative negligence system, there is a limit beyond which a party is no longer eligible to recover damages. This threshold is usually set at 50% or 51%. If a party is equally or more at fault than the other person involved, they might not get any money.

Learning about how the court determines negligence

To determine comparative negligence, the court looks at what each person did leading up to the accident. They consider things like the laws and rules that might apply and how careful each person was. Then, they figure out how much each person is to blame.

An accident on a person’s premises, whether it involves spinal cord issues or traumatic brain injuries, can happen in the blink of an eye but may have long-lasting consequences. By dividing up fault based on each party’s level of responsibility, comparative negligence helps ensure fairness.