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Explaining The Meaning of Contributory Negligence

At the time of a given accident, the evidence and the witness testimony might suggest that both parties were partly responsible for what happened. In other words, the incident resulted from actions that represented a shared fault. The term contributory negligence is one phrase that might be applied to an instance of shared fault.

When would that term get used, following a motor vehicle collision?

According to that principle, if an accident victim’s own negligence has played any part in causing a specific accident, then that same victim cannot recover any damages. The legal system did not feel that such principle was fair, so today most states follow a different a different doctrine/principle.

What alternative doctrine gets used in most states?

That is the doctrine known as comparative negligence. Still, drivers should understand that there are 2 forms of comparative negligence. One is referred to as pure, and the other is termed modified, as per Accident Lawyer in Waterloo.

Any time that a judge feels that the actions of both parties create the circumstances that are typical of shared fault, that judge plans to deliver sentence of comparative negligence. In such a situation, the judge will have the jury weigh the level of negligence committed by each of the 2 parties, the plaintiff and the defendant.

Now, in most states, the judge studies the decision made by the jury and assigns the award money according to that decision. The judge will look at the level of negligence for each party, as expressed as a percentage of the total negligence.

If one driver was found 25 % responsible for the accident, and the other party was 75% responsible, then the driver that bore the largest amount of responsibility would receive only 25% of the award. The other party would get the remaining 75%.

Most states modify that approach just a bit. That modification takes into consideration the extent to which the injured party had caused the accidental occurrence. If the injured party was found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident that caused his or her injury, then that would force a modification of the doctrine of comparative negligence.

According to the legal system in most states, someone that is more than 50% at fault for an accident that injured the same individual should not receive any award. That is the doctrine known as modified comparative negligence. It replaces the traditional contributory negligence, which most legal system judge to be less than fair to the unfortunate victim. That is why having a good personal injury lawyer will help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve. Thus, trying to get it all on your own can be difficult as you understand the intricacies of law.

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