Comparative Fault or Comparative Negligence

This applies when the injured person is partially responsible for causing his or her own injuries. For example, if two drivers are involved in a crash, they may each be partially responsible for causing the crash. Perhaps the defendant ran a stop sign, but the plaintiff was speeding. The defendant can argue that if the plaintiff was not speeding, then she could have avoided the crash or at least would have been going slower and her injuries might have been less severe. The defendant raises this issue as an “affirmative defense.” Comparative fault or comparative negligence laws vary from state to state. In Colorado, if the plaintiff is 50% or more at fault, then she cannot recover anything. If she is less than 50% at fault, then her total damages (the monetary value of her claim) is reduced by the percentage that she was at fault.

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