A Law That Helps Victims Regardless Of Their Level Of Fault

Comparative Negligence: A Law That Helps Victims Regardless Of Their Level Of Fault

March 25, 2024

The comparative negligence rule means you can still receive compensation despite your contribution to the accident. Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the US.

Personal injury attorneys can help you when you are involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. With their help, you can receive compensation even if you are partly responsible for the accident.

So, what amounts to negligence? What is comparative negligence, and how does it work? Let us find out.

Definition Of Negligence

In simple terms, negligence is failing to do or doing the opposite of what is expected. Elements of negligence that must be proved in a claim include:

  • The negligent party owed you a duty of care
  • They disregarded this obligation
  • The consequence of the breach caused the accident
  • Because of the accident, you suffered losses

Comparative Negligence Rule

In most cases, when there is an accident, you will find out that the two parties ( the claimant and defendant) contributed to the accident. Thus, when the victim seeks compensation in court, the defendant can claim that the victim’s negligent actions or omissions led to the occurrence of that accident.

Such claims are frequently made to:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Slip-and-fall incidents
  • Intersection accidents

A victim who slips and falls while shopping at the supermarket may claim that the owner of the premises was negligent for leaving wet spills. The owner may defend themselves and say that the victim was not paying attention to the wet floor sign due to distractions such as focusing too much on their mobile phone.

According to the comparative negligence law, the victim’s damages will be equivalent to the defendant’s fault.

An example: The claimant is entitled to damages amounting to $210,000 if the courts find them responsible for 30% of the accident in a suit whose total damages were $300,000 (300,000 – [300,000 x 0.30]). This is what comparative negligence is all about.

Some jurisdictions exercise modified comparative negligence. According to the modified comparative negligence, the victim can file a claim only if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident.

Purpose Of An Advocate

Many may ask, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” The short answer is yes, you need one, especially if:

  • Your negligence played a major role in causing the accident
  • A large amount of property was destroyed as a result

Insurance firms and agents are very cunning and will utilize every opportunity to ensure they spend the lowest amount possible on a claim. So, if the accident was so severe (caused life-long injuries like disability and brain damage), the agents will be ready to let you carry the cross of being 100% liable for the accident.

But where does the lawyer come in? If the insurance company makes its move, you should immediately contact an advocate. Remember that an insurance adjuster’s loyalty is towards the company and not you.

Purpose Of An Advocate

They aim to earn money from the insurance company by trying to blame you. This means you will have to go the extra mile to cover your bills and your family’s medical expenses.

Your personal injury attorney will put forth the proof in the form of:

  • Accident reports
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Security footage

Your attorney does their best to minimize your liability. In addition, they ensure that you receive compensation regardless of your share of fault.


Comparative negligence is practiced in many states in the US. If the victim lives in a state that follows the comparative negligence rule, the victim will only receive damages amounting to the defendant’s percentage of fault.

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