Comparative Negligence

Comparative Negligence, which is the law in Oregon, is a legal doctrine that developed across the country in response to the harsh and draconian doctrine of contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, if you were at all at fault in the cause of an accident, you were denied recovery. This harsh doctrine still abides in 5 jurisdictions in the United States.

Under the doctrine of comparative negligence or comparative fault, so long as you were not more at fault than the other party, you may still collect damages for injuries but your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault determined by the jury. For example, if a jury determines the fair amount of money damages for your injuries is $100,000, but you were 20% the cause of the accident, you compensation of $100,000 would be reduced to $80,000 ($100,000 minus $20,000).

Unless you were stopped at a stop light or sign and the other party crashed into the rear of your car, comparative fault will factor into your damages. The insurance company will focus on your conduct in the cause of the accident (you weren’t looking where you were stepping, you weren’t wearing appropriate footwear, you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you ignored warning signs). By no means does it mean you do not recover, but your recovery may be reduced.

That’s why you need an attorney with experience to guide you in the event there is a chance your accident involves comparative negligence.

  Give me a call at 971-727-9226 to discuss your case. I serve the Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale and the Greater Portland area including Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Fairview, Wood Village, Troutdale, Tualatin, Tigard and West Linn . I provide free consultation and I do not get paid unless you win. Most consultations are conveniently available remotely, or you may come see me at my office in Historic Troutdale. I work hard to maximize all the benefits you are entitled to.