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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two types of comparative negligence and how do they affect the amount of damages awarded?

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that allows courts to determine the degree of negligence of each party involved in an accident and adjust the amount of damages awarded accordingly. There are two types of comparative negligence: pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they are 99% at fault. The court calculates the total damages and subtracts a percentage that represents the plaintiff's contribution to the accident. For instance, if a plaintiff is 15% responsible for an accident and the total damage is $10,000, the court might subtract $1,500, allowing the plaintiff to recover $8,500. This doctrine is upheld in states like Alaska and California. On the other hand, modified comparative negligence does not award damages to a plaintiff if they are equally or more at fault than the defendant. This approach is more popular and is practiced in states like Colorado and Maine, where the plaintiff must be less at fault to receive damages. However, in states like Hawaii and Iowa, a plaintiff can collect damages if found equally responsible as the defendant, but not if they are more responsible.
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