If you get into a personal injury dispute, it can be difficult determining compensation. No one wants to admit fault, but it’s a vital piece of information. U.S. law allows for contributory negligence or comparative negligence in these cases.

While it’s true only five states still use contributory negligence, it’s important to know which set of laws you’re dealing with.

When considering contributory vs comparative negligence, knowing their differences will ensure the process is completed. That’s why we’ve provided the following guide to help you differentiate the two.

Contributory vs Comparative Negligence

The main difference between these two negligence rules is what percentage of fault each party receives. Lawyers need to help determine whose actions led to each instance of injury in the dispute. 

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence law seeks to attribute any applicable faults to the parties involved. this prevented injured parties from claiming any recovery if they contributed even as little as 1% to the damages.

Examples of Contributory Negligence Cases

Even though few states use contributory negligence, you could still find yourself in the middle of such a lawsuit. That’s why we encourage you to consider the following examples.

Example #1

Person A is driving and hits Person B, who happens to be jaywalking. Both of these individuals would be considered at fault.

Example #2

Person A is speeding and runs into Person B after they’d made an illegal turn. Since they both broke the road laws, both would be ineligible to recover damages.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence cases could be considered the inverse of contributory causes. Rather than using instances of fault to deny damage claims, comparative negligence divides up damage recoveries based on what percentage of fault each party handles.

Examples of Comparative Negligence Cases

You’re most likely to find yourself in a comparative negligence lawsuit than a contributory negligence situation. Here are some common situations you may run across.

Example #1

Person A is drunk driving and runs into an illegally parked car owned by Person B. Person A is deemed 80% at fault, so they’re only entitled to 20% in recovery damages, and vice versa.

Example #2

Person A is speeding and runs into the back of Person B, who is driving under the minimum speed limit on a highway. The two may be deemed 50% at fault each, meaning each party can only recover 50% in damages.

If you’re looking for competent professionals well-versed in contributory and comparative negligence laws, consider a firm such as Sweet Lawyers. These organizations specialize in personal injury disputes. 

Be Aware of All Forms of Negligence Laws 

Avoid confusion when you’re in the middle of a negligence dispute by learning the differences in types. You’ll recover the necessary damages and be more prepared for any instances in the future.

Did you find this contributory vs comparative negligence guide helpful? If so, we invite you to read more of our law articles today!

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