Sometimes both parties are partly to blame for the occurrence of a given accident. Different legal systems have different ways for approaching that particular situation.

Two general principles used

Contributory negligence: According to this principle, anyone that has helped to cause an accident, even to the smallest extent, should not receive any compensation for the resulting losses. Only a few states use this principle.

Comparative fault: According to this principle, the greater the percentage of fault, then the larger the reduction in the size of the awarded compensation. In other words, the amount awarded to the plaintiff changes in reverse proportion to the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Most states have adopted this solution, whenever the opposing parties have shared fault.

There are 2 types of comparative fault

The traditional of “pure” type makes no changes to the original approach. In other words, regardless of what percent of blame rests on the plaintiff’s shoulders, the compensation gets decreased in reverse proportion to that portion of the blame.

The traditional approach never changes, even if the plaintiff has been found responsible for more than 50% of the factors that caused the accident. Over time, some states decided to modify that approach.

In modified comparative fault the plaintiff can expect a compensation only if he or she did not contribute to more than 50% of the factors that caused an accidental incident. In other words, plaintiffs that have contributed more than 50% of the causative factors have no right to compensation.

The legal system has strived to create a perfect solution.

Today, few states use contributory negligence, because it deals so harshly on those that have contributed just a small percentage of an accident’s causative factors. Because those that make decisions about the legal system appreciated the harsh nature of contributory negligence, it was gradually replaced by an alternative approach, as per personal injury lawyer in Mississauga.

Still, “pure” comparative fault did not seem entirely fair, because it could be used to award money to someone that had sustained an injury, as the result of an accident for which the injured party had been more than 50% responsible. In order to avoid such a situation, many states adapted the modified version.

Yet today there may be plaintiffs that continue to view the system as unfair. Those would be the plaintiffs that were found to have contributed to just over 50% of a given accident. The same plaintiffs would lack the ability to get compensated to any extent for their losses. Consequently, a good personal injury lawyer should not hesitate to work on minimizing the extent to which his or her client has helped to cause the incident that has resulted in the same client’s claimed losses.