A slip and fall accident happens due to the poor construction and maintenance of the property or part of it where the accident took place. In some cases, the negligence on the part of the victim would also have contributed to the accident in some way. Hence the jury has to analyze the liability of the property owner and the victim in a slip and fall accident claim.
Comparative negligence is associated with determining the negligence of the victim. During the trial, the jury compares the negligence of the victim with that of the defendant to take a decision on the final settlement.
The Different Types Of Comparative Negligence
The comparative negligence rules of states differ from one another. Some states follow the pure comparative negligence rule where the compensation awarded to the plaintiff is reduced by the percentage of his/her fault. Consider for example that the plaintiff was 70% at fault and the defendant was 30% at fault for the slip and fall accident. If the awarded compensation for the damages is $100,000, then the plaintiff will only get $30,000(30% of $100,000).
Another type of comparative negligence is modified comparative negligence. In this system, the plaintiff does not get any compensation if his/her fault percentage is more than that of the defendant’s. In case the plaintiff and defendant were equally at fault, then the plaintiff’s verdict will be reduced to half of the awarded compensation. California follows the pure comparative negligence rule.
However, in some of the states that use the modified comparative negligence rule the plaintiff’s fault percentage need to be less than that of the defendant for them to get any compensation. If the plaintiff and defendant are equally at fault, the plaintiff won’t be awarded any compensation.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Not many states in the country follow the contributory negligence rule. This is quite an extreme rule because even a 1% fault from the part of the plaintiff will lead to him/her failing the claim and getting nothing.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
The first thing to be kept in mind is that the jury first checks whether the defendant was negligent before determining the victim’s comparative negligence. If the court finds that the defendant was not negligent, then the case is over and there is no point in determining the negligence of the plaintiff.
In case the jury finds that the defendant was negligent, then the negligence percentage of the plaintiff will also be determined. If the plaintiff is also found negligent, the jury will then compare the negligence of the defendant and plaintiff.
The settlements of slip and fall cases are determined in different ways due to the differences in the laws concerning slip and fall cases. An expert slip and fall lawyer can help the victims of slip and fall accidents find out the chances of winning their case.