Law School Discussion

What's the differences between comparative negligence and contributory negligenc

What's the differences between comparative negligence and contributory negligence?
Thank you very much!

If you are comparatively negligent, you can have any damage award reduced by the percentage that you were at fault. If you are contributorily negligent, it is a complete bar to any recovery.

Most states have moved to comparative negligence. With contributory, even if you were only 1% at fault, you are not likely to get any damages. Comparative negligence is a lot more fair - for the Plaintiff, anyway  ;D

Also, comparative negligence jurisdictions are generally aplit into two categories, pure and partial.

In pure comparative, the P gets the award minus his percentage contribution.  In theory, if the P's negligence was 90% of the cause of the injury to the P, he would collect 10% of the total damages.

In partial comparative jurisdictions, the P must be less than 50% responsible in order to collect anything, if he is 51% responsible, he gets nothing, if he is 49% responsible, then he gets 51% of the damages.  Of course, these cloae calls don't happen in real life very often, generally juries will find one side substantially at fault or the majority cause.  If they decide 50/50 exactly, jurisdictions are split as to whether there will be any recovery.

Kentucky is a pure comparative state.  Good eating for personal injury lawyers!