Accidents most commonly occur when there is negligence involved. Negligence is the lack of care to behave responsibly in certain circumstances. Negligence usually involves an action that would be deemed responsible for the accident.
There are two main kinds of negligence within the legal field. Comparative negligence allows for a reduction in the damages. There are different forms of comparative negligence with the first being “Pure Comparative Negligence.” Percentages will be applied to both parties and each percentage is what deems the level of responsibility each individual has for the incident. For example, assume that the defendant damaged the plaintiffs car for a total of $50,000. If plaintiff is responsible for 25% of those damages, then the plaintiff can still collect $37,500 of those damages.
The second and less common form of comparative negligence is “Modified Comparative Negligence.” Under Modified Comparative Negligence, the plaintiff will not recover damages if they are equally responsible for the accident. A variation of this kind of negligence defense states that if the plaintiff is 51% responsible for the incident, they can not recover damages.
The final kind of negligence is the “slight” or “gross” negligence. This form of negligence only holds a defendant more liable if the defendant’s negligence was much greater or considered “gross” compared to the plaintiff. The plaintiff is prevented from recovery if their negligence was deemed more than slight.
The second main kind of negligence within the legal field is contributory negligence. Although this form of negligence defense is widely abolished, it states that if the plaintiff was responsible in any way, they cannot recover any damages. If the plaintiff was at all responsible for the accident, they will not be permitted to move forward with the case because they have been deemed negligent to some degree. For example, if the plaintiff was driving above the speed limit and was hit by another car being more reckless, the plaintiff will not recover damages because they were speeding.
Contributory negligence may also arise in cases where the plaintiff was behaving recklessly in their personal life. If a plaintiff was drinking or smoking heavily and then passed away, their remaining family could receive reduced recovery. This occurs because a defendant may cite that the plaintiff contributed to their damages with those actions.
In conclusion, the factors that contributed to the accident or injury are integral to understanding the details of the case. The different forms of comparative and contributory negligence exist to fill those details and to maintain a just system. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX, if you want to know more details about having a possible case.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for their insight into the different types of negligence that exist.