Comparative Negligence

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Comparative Negligence

Meaning of Comparative Negligence

The doctrine is that a plaintiff may recover on account of the negligence of the defendant even though the plaintiff was himself guilty of negligence; provided the defendant’s negligence was gross and the plaintiffs negligence was slight by comparison. In such cases damages are apportioned according to the degree of negligence or fault of each of the parties . See Bultema Dock & dredge Co. v S.S. David P. Thompson, (D.C.Mich.)252 F. Supp 881.

Comparative Negligence Alternative Definition

A doctrine whereby negligence is classified as “slight,” “ordinary,” or “gross.” In such case, if the negligence of a defendant be gross, there may be a recovery, notwithstanding slight contributory negligence (96 111. 47) ; but not where the negligence of the parties is of the same class, or the defendant’s “ordinary,” and the plaintiff’s “slight” (72 111. 351). The doctrine is now abandoned in the only state where it prevailed as a common-law doctrine. 153 111. 165. However, employer’s liability acts in some states have modified the common law in a manner nearly akin to the old rule of comparative negligence. Under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act of 1908, the negligence is compared in determining the damages, recovery being reduced proportionately to the extent that plaintiff’s negligence has contributed to the accident. It varies from the old rule, however, in that no matter how gross the contributory negligence of the plaintiff may be when compared VTith the negligence of the defendant, it may be considered only in diminution of recovery and not in bar.

Related Entries of Comparative Negligence in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Comparative Negligence in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Comparative Negligence in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Comparative Negligence in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Comparative Negligence in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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Comparative Negligence Legal Definition

The degree to which a person contributed to his/her own injury, damage or death. Usually measured in terms of percentage.


You might be interested in these references tools:

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Comparative Negligence in the Dictionary Comparative Negligence in our legal dictionaries
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Related topics Comparative Negligence in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Comparative Negligence is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Meaning of Comparative Negligence in the U.S. Legal System

Definition of Comparative Negligence published by the National Association for Court Management: A legal doctrine by which acts of the opposing parties are compared to determine the liability of each party to the other, making each liable only for his or her percentage of fault. See also contributory negligence.







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