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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the modified comparative negligence approach differ from the pure comparative negligence approach?

The modified comparative negligence approach and the pure comparative negligence approach are two different methods courts use to determine the amount of damages a defendant must pay a plaintiff in a negligence case. In the pure comparative negligence approach, the court calculates the total damages and subtracts a percentage that represents the plaintiff's contribution to the accident. For instance, if the plaintiff was 15% responsible for the accident, the court might subtract 15% from the total damage amount. This approach allows a plaintiff who is 95% at fault to still receive 5% of the damages from the defendant. On the other hand, the modified comparative negligence approach, which is more commonly used, generally does not award damages to the plaintiff if they are more at fault than the defendant. For example, in states like Colorado and Maine, the plaintiff must not be equally or more at fault for the accident to receive damages from the defendant. However, in states like Hawaii and Iowa, a plaintiff could collect damages if found equally responsible as the defendant, but not if they are more responsible.
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