Comparative Negligence

Definition - What does Comparative Negligence mean?

Comparative negligence is a legal standard under tort law for the allocation of damages in a lawsuit when all the concerned parties are somewhat at fault. It is a modification of the contributory negligence doctrine. It is used as a partial legal defense in negligence-based claims for reducing the damages a victim (plaintiff) can claim based on how a plaintiff’s negligence contributed to causing an injury.

Justipedia explains Comparative Negligence

In a tort lawsuit where all the parties involved have contributed to causing injury through their negligence, some jurisdictions apply the legal standard of comparative negligence to allocate damages based on each party’s fault.

In cases where comparative negligence is asserted as a partial legal defense, the judge or jury allocates each party’s fault as a percentage and awards damages to each party according to those percentages. For example, in a suit where the plaintiff’s negligence was found to have been 25% responsible for their injury, the plaintiff is awarded 75% of the damages claimed. If the defendant also suffered injury, he or she can recover 25% of the damages from the plaintiff.

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