The concept of “negligence” is defined as “conduct that falls below the standards of behavior” established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. Comparative fault system includes three basic rules:
- Pure Contributory Negligence Rule
- Pure Comparative Fault Rule
- Modified Comparative Fault Rule
The term of Pure Contributory Negligence defines at what degree the plaintiff is negligent for their own injury. If the plaintiff is found even 1% at fault, no damages can be recovered (i.e. being hit by the car while crossing the road in the wrong place). Only 5 states recognize the Pure Contributory Negligence Rule: Alabama, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.
The Pure Comparative Fault Rule makes it possible for the plaintiff to recover damages, even it they are at fault at some degree. That would constitute the amount of damages minus the degree of fault. Even if the damaged party is 99% at fault, the amount of recovery would be 1%. This rule is recognized by thirteen (13) states such as Alaska, California, Florida and others.
The Modified Comparative Fault Rule has two different applications. 50% Bar Rule doesn’t allow a damaged party to recover if they are 50% or more at fault; the recovery amount is reduced by the damaged party’s degree of fault (i.e. recovering $5,000 instead of $10,000). Under the 51% Bar Rule the damaged party can’t recover if they are 51% or more at fault, but can recover if they are 50% or less at fault.
If you need legal help, the right licensed lawyer, in the state where the accident occurred, will assess the facts in your accident, apply the negligence rules in your state and determine whether you have a good case. Come to Legal Bistro and find the right lawyer for your personal injury case!