California personal injury attorneys

Comparative Negligence


After proving a prima facie case of negligence (duty, breach, causation, and damages), plaintiff must overcome any obstacles to recovery raised by defendant.

One of the most common obstacles is comparative negligence, which reduces plaintiffs monetary recovery if defendant can prove plaintiff was also negligent to some degree.

Usually a defendant will contend a plaintiff's own negligence in a specified percentage led to her injury, and the judge or jury will reduce the total damages recovery by that same percentage

Examples of Comparative Negligence


Dangerous Dan, the driver of one automobile, is driving way too fast and Negligent Nellie, the driver of a car coming from the other direction, begins a left hand turn without looking to ensure it is safe to do so. The two car crash and Nellie is hurt. Nellie's monetary recovery will most likely be reduced by whatever a jury determines is the percentage of her fault in relation to causing the accident.

In contrast to comparative negligence which is the law in California, some states use the very old (and unfair) doctrine of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence which prohibits any recovery at all if the claimant contributed to the cause of the accident in any way.

Other states use a form of Modified Contributory Negligence in which the claimant's recovery is barred only if he or she is more than 51% at fault for causing the injury.


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213-784-2574
Los Angeles, California Personal Injury Attorneys
310-997-0237
West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Malibu, Torrance, Santa Monica Injury Attorneys
415-935-6904
San Francisco, California, Personal Injury Attorneys
818-745-2777
Burbank, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Woodland Hills, Westlake Village Lawyers
626-797-2777
Pasadena, Glendale, San Gabriel, Alhambra Accident Lawyers
562-337-9609
Long Beach Accident Attorneys
714-982-4589
Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Orange County Personal Injury Lawyers
949-734-1584
Aliso Viejo, Capistrano, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna, Mission Viejo, PI Attorneys
805-910-7774
Agoura Hills, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village Accident Lawyers
661-877-4626
Bakersfield, Kern, Tulare, and Fresno Counties - Personal Injury Attorneys
619-940-7771
San Diego Injury Lawyers Handling Auto Accidents, Truck Crashes, Wrongful Death
858-523-8771
Del Mar, La Jolla, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach - Personal Injury Lawyers
760-705-8771
Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Lake Isabella, Oceanside, Palm Springs Injury Lawyers
510-969-2707
Oakland, California, Personal Injury Lawyers - PI Lawyers
877-593-2777
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers