Comparative Negligence

Published: | Updated: November 27, 2017

Definition - What does Comparative Negligence mean?

Comparative negligence is a legal term used when assigning blame and assigning damages in a vehicular accident where two or more parties can be at fault. A percentage is attached to signify the extent of culpability.

Insuranceopedia explains Comparative Negligence

A defendant can use comparative negligence against a plaintiff in a lawsuit involving an auto accident. This will not only make them less guilty but might lessen the amount of money they have to pay for damages done to another party. The insurance company, through its legal representative, can also lean on this rule to lessen the liability charge.

If the court rules that a party is largely responsible for the accident, they will be assigned the higher percentage. For example, the court may ascribe 80% of the responsibility for the accident to Part A and only 20% of the responsibility to Party B. In this case, if the total damages amount to $10,000, Party A will have to pay $8,000 of them, while Party B will be liable for the remaining $2,000.

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