Comparative Negligence vs. Contributory Negligence: What’s the Difference?

Darfoor Law Firm Contributory vs. Comparative Negligence

Contributory negligence is a legal concept that can have an impact on personal injury claims. It refers to a situation in which the plaintiff (the person bringing the personal injury claim) may have contributed to the harm or injury they suffered in some way, such as by failing to take reasonable precautions for their own safety. This can limit or even prevent the plaintiff from recovering damages from the defendant (the person or party allegedly responsible for causing the harm).

On the other hand, comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that may apply in personal injury cases in which both the plaintiff and defendant are found to have contributed to the injury in some way. Each party is assigned a percentage of fault for the injury under comparative negligence, and the damages awarded to the plaintiff are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them.

If the plaintiff is found to have contributed to their own injury, even to a minor degree, they may be barred from recovering damages in a jurisdiction that follows the contributory negligence doctrine. For example, if a pedestrian is hit by a car while crossing the street outside of a designated crosswalk and it is determined that the pedestrian was 20% at fault for the accident, the pedestrian may be unable to seek compensation from the driver or their insurance company.

Many jurisdictions, however, now follow a comparative negligence doctrine, which permits for recovery of damages even if the plaintiff is partly to blame for their injury. The plaintiff’s recovery under comparative negligence may be reduced by a fraction of their own fault. In the prior scenario, for example, if the pedestrian was found to be 20% at fault for the accident, they may still be able to recuperate 80% of their damages from the driver or their insurance company.

It is imperative to note that the specific guidelines governing contributory or comparative negligence vary by jurisdiction, and their application can be complicated. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you should speak with an experienced injury lawyer who can help you understand the legal insinuations of contributory negligence and how it may affect your case.

To determine the type of negligence that may be relevant to your case, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and guide you with the best course of action.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the fault of someone else or negligence, Darfoor Law Firm is here to help you and guide you with the best course of action.

Accidents can be tough to deal with and you need someone who will understand, sympathize, and fight for you.

Call us at +1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation and case evaluation.