What is comparative negligence?

If you are seeking to file a personal injury case in Missouri, it is important to understand how state laws will affect your case. While negligence in and of itself is not considered law in any state, the concept of negligence is addressed in every court system across the United States. However, the method of addressing negligence may be different between states.

According to FindLaw, Missouri is a state which abides by the concept of comparative negligence. Basically, this means that the amount of compensation you are entitled to in a personal injury suit as the plaintiff depends on the percentage of fault each party bears in the suit.

For example, if the plaintiff in a personal injury case has suffered $100,000 in damages, the amount that the plaintiff receives depends upon the amount of fault that both the plaintiff and defendant have in the accident. If the courts determine that the plaintiff bears 30% of the fault in the accident while the defendant bears 70% of fault, then the plaintiff will receive $70,000 in damages through the suit.

This means that in Missouri you may not receive the entire amount of damages as the plaintiff if you are found to be at fault in some way, shape, or form. However, Missouri does not abide by the concept of contributory negligence, where if the plaintiff is at fault at all in the accident he or she cannot receive any damages.

This article was intended to inform you about the role of comparative negligence in Missouri personal injury cases. It is not intended to be legal advice.