Comparative negligence works on a percentage basis to assign a degree of fault for the injuries suffered. For example a plaintiff in a products liability case cannot be found more than fifty percent at fault in order to be compensated for injuries suffered. If a plaintiff is found to be fifty-one percent at fault, he or she will not receive any damages for injuries suffered. Additionally, for plaintiffs that are found to be less than fifty-percent at fault, the award is reduced in proportion to the plaintiff's percentage of fault. For example, in a case where a person slips and falls on a wet supermarket floor and is awarded $100,000, the supermarket is found to be eighty-percent responsible for the accident because of dangerous floor conditions. The injured plaintiff is found twenty percent responsible for not exercising caution, so the award is reduced to $80,000.
What is comparative negligence?