Comparative negligence is a relatively new legal doctrine developed in response to the traditional view of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence used to serve as an absolute defense against liability, holding that if a plaintiff was in any way responsible for their own injuries, the defendant should not be required to compensate them for their damages because the plaintiff could have taken steps to avoid the injury.
However, this viewpoint caused a great deal of injustice, as plaintiffs who were only incidentally responsible for their injuries were found completely guilty without compensation for their injuries, allowing parties who were more or less guilty to escape without punishment.
The doctrine of comparative negligence holds that parties are liable for an event to the extent that they were responsible for its occurrence. For example, if a jury finds that a defendant is 75% responsible for an injury that occurred, they must pay 75% of the damages. The intent was to provide recourse for victims who, although they may be slightly responsible for their injuries, still deserve some degree of compensation.
However, numerous jurisdictions will only allow a plaintiff to collect damages in the event that their portion of liability is less than 50%, so it is important to contact an experienced Cincinnati personal injury lawyer if you have been injured.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of negligence, contact a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer at Stepleton Dugan, LLC today at 513-321-7733, and we will evaluate your case.