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Rhode Island is a Pure Comparative Negligence State!

§ 9-20-4  Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property.

The Personal Injury Law Directory states “Presently, thirteen (13) states follow a pure comparative negligence system:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.  In a pure comparative negligence system, a judge or jury assigns a percentage of fault to each responsible party and then apportions the damage award accordingly.  Using this system, an injured person may recover his or her damages even if the injured person was 99% at fault in causing the injury, with those damages reduced by his or her portion of the fault.  For example, in a car accident between John and Mary where John was found to be 99% responsible, and the jury found that Mary suffered $10,000 in damages, that award would be reduced by Mary’s 99% fault in causing the injury.  In the end, John would only have to pay 1% of  Mary’s damages, or $100 in this case.”


Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

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