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Comparative Negligence in Car Accident Cases: How Fault Is Determined

When it comes to car accidents, they do come with a number of injuries and damages that can impact a person’s lifestyle. Now, when it comes to getting compensation, the role of negligence becomes very important here.

This is not very easy to determine and depends on a lot of factors. One of the negligence approaches is the comparative negligence. This is one of the most useful ways to know who is at fault in case of car accidents.

A car accident attorney in Houston TX can help you a lot with knowing the amount of compensation that you deserve.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that is used in cases of personal injuries. This is used to determine the fault involved by two parties in a car accident case.  It is very different from some of the other negligence doctrines but is considered to be the most beneficial one out of all.

Types of Comparative Negligence

There are two major types of negligence that are seen. These include

1.   Pure Comparative Negligence

This is the best form of comparative negligence, where the plaintiff can recover the damages even if they are mostly responsible for the fault in the accident.

There is no percentage set here that the plaintiff is barred from as far as the recovery is concerned.  The percentage of the plaintiff gets reduced depending on the percentage of fault.

2.   Modified Comprative Negligence

There are two subtypes that are seen as far as the modified comparative negligence is observed.

51% Bar Rule: In this rule, the plaintiffs are allowed to get their needed compensation only if their fault is 51% or more.

50% Bar Rule: According to this rule, the plaintiff can get the recovery damages if their fault is equal to or less than the fault of the defendant party. If the plaintiff is found to be more at fault than 50% or more, then they are not allowed to get the recovery for the damages.

Comparative Negligence and Determination of Fault

Comparative negligence has a very important role when it comes to the determination of fault in car accident cases. It helps in finding out.

Fault Distribution

In determining the quantity of negligence each party is responsible for in an accident, comparative negligence can be easily applied. To find out how the behavior of all parties contributed to the events, comparative negligence can help in evaluating each other’s actions or behavior.

After finding out the degree of the fault of each party, it is time to assign different percentages to each side. This percentage indicates the amount of fault one party is at and how much they owe to the other party.

These percentages must add up to become a hundred. It means that if one party is at 70%, the other must be at 30%.

Assessment of Damages

Comparative negligence directly impacts the compensation that a person must recover from another. The total damages of the injured party are reduced by the amount of fault that they are responsible for.


Comparative negligence is seen to be one of the fairest ways that is used to distribute compensation among parties in car accident cases.

This also makes sure that each party involved in the accident feels accountable for their actions that contributed to the accident. This also makes it clear that the accident was never entirely the fault of just one party.

Legal Proceedings

In the case of personal injury cases, comparative negligence is a major element of legal proceedings. These principles are the foundation of proof gathering, present arguments, and sometimes settlement negotiations between attorneys illustrating plaintiffs and defendants.

Without the role of comparative negligence, there is no way negligence can be divided in a just form between the parties involved.

Settlement Negotiation

During settlement negotiations, there has been a trend to make use of the concept of comparative negligence. In order to arrive at a fair settlement figure, the parties may depend on their estimates of fault percentages.

So, comparative negligence is used a lot as it is considered to be one of the most just forms of negligence. It is obviously a tailored form of allocating the faults between the parties that allows them to get the needed compensation.


When it comes to the comparative negligence, it is one of the types of negligence that is used the most. But, there are certain factors that need to be focused on before this approach of negligence is decided. To make the most of it, it is best to hire an attorney who can guide you through the process legally and morally. According to the jurisdictions of different states, the negligence type is decided and then implemented in order to get the best compensation.