When it comes to personal injury cases, understanding the concept of comparative negligence is crucial. Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine used in many states to determine the degree of fault of each party involved in an accident. Here’s a breakdown of how it works and its implications for personal injury claims.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident. The damages awarded are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for an accident and the damages are $100,000, the plaintiff would receive $80,000 ($100,000 – 20%).

How Does Comparative Negligence Impact Personal Injury Claims?

In states that follow the rule of pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover damages even if they are 99% at fault. However, the amount of damages awarded is reduced by their percentage of fault. In states that follow the rule of modified comparative negligence, a plaintiff can only recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault. If they are 50% or more at fault, they are barred from recovery.

Why Does Comparative Negligence Matter?

Understanding comparative negligence is important because it can significantly impact the outcome of a personal injury case. For plaintiffs, it means that even if they were partially at fault for an accident, they may still be able to recover damages. For defendants, it means that they may be able to reduce the amount of damages they have to pay by proving that the plaintiff was partially at fault.

Ultimately, comparative negligence is a complex legal concept that can have a big impact on personal injury cases. If you have been injured in an accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process.