What is Comparative Negligence?

barberandbanker fault-meter-320x227Those who have been injured in an accident sometimes ask the attorneys at Barber and Associates, LLC, “What if I am partially responsible for the accident?” These victims often feel that if they were at fault for an accident in any way they will not be able to collect any damages. This is not true; even if you had a certain degree of responsibility for what happened, you will not necessarily lose your right to collect damages, although your settlement or verdict may be somewhat reduced due to the principle of comparative negligence that applies in Alaska personal injury cases. Barber and Associates, LLC, personal injury attorneys in Anchorage, can help you understand how comparative negligence may affect the outcome of your case.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

The term comparative negligence comes from the idea of comparing the relative fault of two parties to an accident and determining the degree to which each person should be held responsible for injuries resulting from the accident. Comparative negligence can be a difficult concept to understand, so it may be easiest to give a hypothetical example of how comparative negligence could work in an Alaska personal injury case.

Alaska uses a pure comparative negligence systems similar to that of Florida, New York, California and Washington. Under a pure comparative negligence system, if the person who was injured is found to be at fault to some degree for the accident, that victim may still recover damages less the amount the jury determines he or she was responsible for. Therefore, if a victim was injured in a car accident and the jury decides that the victim has $100,000 worth of damages but is 25 percent responsible for his or her own injuries, the victim would receive a net verdict of $75,000, which is 75 percent of the total amount.

What If I Am Responsible for the Accident?

Comparative negligence is a very subjective and relative principle that depends greatly on how a jury sees the victim’s level of fault in an accident. It is more difficult, but not impossible, to collect damages if you caused an accident through your own actions. While no outcome is guaranteed, it is worth looking into your case if you have received injuries no matter what the circumstances of the case.

Contact Barber and Associates, LLC for more information and to schedule a consultation about your case. You have nothing to lose by finding out the facts.

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