The rule on contributory negligence that will apply to most negligence cases is that as long as the plaintiff is no greater than 50% at fault, then they can still recover.  That means 0-50% -- plaintiff can still recover.  51-100% plaintff cannot recover anything.  Note that this rule does not apply in a products liability case.  Also, note that this rule does not appy to dog bit cases.  

This is the rule that will apply to car accident cases in Connecticut.  

Also, a second part of the rule is the comparative negligence rule.  This means that the plaintiff's damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to the plaintiff.  Taken together the two rules work like this:

If the plaintiff's fault is 51%-100% then the plaintiff gets nothing.

If hte plaintiff's fault is 0-50% then the plaintiff can recover and whatever fault is attributed to the plaintiff, then that same percentage is taken away from the plaintiff's damages.

Example:  Plaintiff is 20% at fault, defendant is 80% at fault, and plaintiff's total damages are $500,000.00.  In that case the plaintiff wins and will receive damages of $400,000.  

Here is the math.  $500,000 x .20 = $100,000.  So, that amount, $100,000 is deducted from the plaintiff's damages.  $500,000 minus $100,000 is $400,000.  The plaintiff gets $400,000.

If you were in a car accident and need a lawyer don't hesitate to contact The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road Groton, Connecticut, 860-445-8521 with other satellite offices in Shelton, CT. and East Berlin CT.  



Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut