Comparative Fault

Definition - What does Comparative Fault mean?

Comparative fault is a doctrine under tort law that compares the liability of each party in a legal action for damages when a person suffers loss, injury, or death. Each party's degree of fault is determined by examining their respective responsibility in causing the injury rather than examining how much damage each party directly caused.

Comparative fault is also known as comparative responsibility.

Justipedia explains Comparative Fault

When an injury is caused by the actions or negligence of multiple parties, the doctrine of comparative fault helps compare the fault of each party by dividing fault according to percentages. Damages are awarded to the victim (plaintiff) according to those percentages. The doctrine of comparative fault encompasses the doctrine of comparative negligence. That is a rule for allocating damages when all the parties in a tort lawsuit are at least somewhat at fault. In many states, if a plaintiff contributed to their injuries 51% or more, they cannot recover for their damages.

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