Comparative Fault Law and Legal Definition

Comparative fault is a doctrine of tort law which permits plaintiff and defendant to compare their liability for the accident. It allows proportionate recovery if both the plaintiff and defendant were negligent and thereby contributed to the cause of an injury.

The plaintiff’s award for damages will be reduced in proportion to their fault. There are two primary approaches to comparative fault. Pure comparative fault permits the plaintiff to recover damages regardless of the percentage of fault allocated to the plaintiff. Modified comparative fault prevents the plaintiff from recovering damages if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault. Comparative fault is also known as comparative negligence.