What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence is what is used in Washington State to determine who is at fault for what percentage of the accident. Fault can be divided up between the parties and even if you are partially at fault you may still receive a settlement. Washington State uses a system known as pure contributory negligence. This means that a judge or jury will determine the percentage of fault for the parties involved and then distribute the settlement accordingly.

For example, Steve and John are involved in a car accident and Steve was found to be 99% responsible, but the jury also found that Steve suffered $10,000 worth in damages. The award amount of $10,000 would be reduced by Steve’s 99% fault in causing the injury so John would only be responsible for $100 of Steve’s damages.