No article on comparative negligence should lack an introductory section on determining negligent behavior. Such behavior has been exhibited by someone that has chosen to be careless and neglectful. At the time of a trial, following a slip and fall incident, a jury must decide if the property owner should be declared negligent.
The jury’s decision gets based on the facts and evidence presented by the Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville for the plaintiff. Does the combination of facts and evidence show that the property owner knew about the unsafe condition on the premises? Does that combination of factors show that the property owner should have known about the unsafe condition on the premises?
If the answer to either of those questions is “yes,” then the jury has reason to declare that the property owner was negligent. Once the jury’s decision, regarding the defendant’s negligence has been made, it may be asked to issue an opinion on the plaintiff’s level of negligence. That opinion would indicate whether or not the jury members had found evidence in support of comparative negligence.
How a comparison gets used to determine comparative negligence
Members of the jury compare the level of the plaintiff’s negligence with that of the defendant. The jury decides whether or not some percentage of the fault should be placed on the shoulders of the plaintiff. The jury’s ruling gives that percentage. Once that ruling has been made, the percentage established by the jury’s ruling gets used to determine the amount of money that should be awarded to the plaintiff.
The court will multiply the percentage set by the jury and the amount of the award that was to be given the plaintiff. The product of that multiplication reveals what amount of money should be subtracted from the original size of the award. Based on the ruling of comparative negligence, the plaintiff then receives an award from which the monetary figure that had been calculated by the court has been subtracted.
Why a plaintiff might be denied an award
The system explained above assumes that the level of negligence displayed by the plaintiff was less than the level of negligence displayed by the defendant. If the jury were to find that the reverse was true, then the plaintiff’s award would be denied. Obviously, in cases where that award had been denied, the ruling on comparative negligence no longer has any relevance to the case that has been decided.
In some courtrooms juries decide on contributory negligence, rather than comparative negligence. Such juries must determine whether or not a plaintiff contributed in any way whatsoever to the accidental occurrence. Depending on the jury’s finding, a plaintiff might be denied an award, even after getting injured.