What is the difference between contributory and comparative negligence in personal injury cases?
Often, catastrophic injuries are caused by negligence, inflicting both physical and mental trauma that negatively impacts an individual’s life. If an individual does not exercise reasonable care to ensure safety they can be held liable for any damages that occur as a direct result of their negligent actions. However, in some cases, a victim may have contributed in some capacity to the cause of the accident that caused their injuries. If this is the case, depending on what doctrine a victim’s state follows, it could affect their ability to recover monetary compensation for their losses. If you or someone you love has sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of another person and you are partially at fault, contact one of our trusted and determined Westchester County Personal Injury Attorneys who can help you seek financial compensation for your damages. In addition, please continue reading to learn about the differences between contributory and comparative negligence.
What is the difference between contributory negligence and comparative negligence?
States either follow the contributory negligence or comparative negligence rule when it comes to personal injury cases. Essentially, these doctrines are legal concepts that stipulate an individual’s ability to recover financial compensation for their damages if they were partly responsible for the cause of the accident that caused their injuries.
- Contributory negligence. States that follow the contributory negligence rule completely bar victims from recovering any financial compensation for their damages if they contributed in any capacity to the cause of the accident that caused their injuries. This means that if a victim was found even just 1% at fault, they would not be entitled to recover any financial compensation for their damages. This may seem unfair, which is why most states do not follow this rule. However, there are a few states that continue to use this doctrine to determine whether a victim can recover monetary compensation for their damages if they are partly to blame.
- Comparative negligence. States that follow the comparative negligence rule allow victims to recover monetary compensation even if they were partly to blame for the cause of the accident that caused their damages. However, victims are restricted in a sense since their award is reduced by their degree of fault. For instance, if a victim was found 20% responsible, their award would be reduced by 20%. Most states follow the comparative negligence doctrine. In New York, the comparative negligence rule is followed.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone you love has been injured as a result of another person’s negligence and you are partially at fault, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our skilled and dedicated attorneys. With years of experience, our attorneys can help you navigate your legal options. In addition, we can help you understand how the comparative negligence rule can affect the amount you can recover for your damages in New York.