Understanding Comparative Negligence

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a law used by casualty insurance claims that suggest that during an accident, the contribution of each party in the accident determines the fault or negligence of each party. Insurance companies use this principle to assign blame to each party and pay the insurance claim accordingly.

It is used to assign faults in the case of auto accidents. An example of comparative negligence is if two drivers get into an accident because both drivers broke the traffic signals, both of them will be at fault, and their insurance claims will be denied. 

Insurance Companies and Comparative Negligence

Insurance companies pay special attention to comparative negligence because the claim depends on it. The fault each party will receive after an accident is a critical aspect of insurance. Insurance companies want to ensure that they are only obligated to pay the claims that their client was responsible for. 

Defence lawyers also play an important role in reducing the responsibility of their clients for the accident. The final decision regarding the amount of fault assigned to each party is based on the evidence provided on the accident. The party who is less responsible for the accidents also gets some portion of the fault. 

There are three types of comparative negligence that are practised among different states.

Pure Comparative Negligence

In pure comparative negligence, even if the plaintiff is assigned 99% of the blame, they can still recover their damages from the accident using the remaining 1% of damages assessed from the defendant.

 Modified Comparative Negligence

This type of comparative negligence says that if the percentage of blame crosses a certain limit for the plaintiff, they are no longer liable to recover their damages. For example, in some states, the fault percentage limit is 5-%. So, if the plaintiff’s blame crosses 50%, they cannot recover their damages. 

Gross/Slight Negligence

This divides both parties into ‘slight’ and ‘gross’. It is applied if the contribution of each party has a significant difference. It says that a party can only recover damages if their fault was ‘slight’ in the accident and the defendant’s contribution was ‘gross’. 

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