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Asserting and Challenging Plaintiff's Comparative or Contributory Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

Discovery Techniques, Apportionment of Fault, Expert Testimony and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide personal injury lawyers on how to overcome a plaintiff's comparative negligence and maximize recovery at trial. The webinar will cover how various jurisdictions handle comparative and contributory negligence and how attorneys can develop trial strategies to overcome their own clients' level of fault.


Laws in every state deal with whether the state is a contributory negligence state (recovery is barred with only 1 percent of fault by the plaintiff) or a comparative negligence state (plaintiff recovery is reduced or barred based on the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff), and whether the state is a pure comparative or modified comparative state.

In cases involving comparative negligence, the jury determines the percentage of responsibility of each plaintiff, of each defendant, and of any other parties involved. In the majority of states, a plaintiff cannot recover for damages when their negligence is 50 percent or greater. It is critical for plaintiffs' attorneys to develop trial strategies designed to keep the level of fault attributed to their client below 50 percent.

Plaintiffs' attorneys must be skilled in understanding how fault will be apportioned in their jurisdiction and how to construct arguments in a way that will allow for the maximum recovery for their client.

Listen as our distinguished panel discusses the different apportionment schemes employed by various states and how plaintiffs can maximize recovery despite some level of comparative fault. Our panelists will provide guidance on investigating the case, hiring accident reconstruction experts, and trial tactics to keep plaintiff's level of fault below 50 percent.



  1. Overview of comparative and contributory fault schemes
  2. Discussion of factors that impact juries' apportionment of fault
  3. Impact of accident reconstruction experts
  4. Best practices for personal injury attorneys to overcome plaintiff's level of fault


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What are the contributory and comparative fault schemes in various states?
  • How is fault determined and apportioned at trial?
  • What steps should attorneys take at the outset of a case to determine their client's level of fault?
  • What trial tactics can attorneys use to keep their client's level of fault below 50 percent?


Brod, Gregory
Gregory J. Brod

Founding Member
Brod Law Firm

Mr. Brod has been a trial lawyer for over 20 years, focusing on representing plaintiffs in personal injury, wrongful...  |  Read More

Campbell, Glenn
Glenn M. Campbell

Post & Schell

Mr. Campbell has practiced in the areas of personal injury and property damage defense for 30 years, both in private...  |  Read More

Focht, Matthew
Matthew J. Focht

Senior Counsel
Joseph Greenwald & Laake

Mr. Focht is a trial lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury Practice Group. He helps individuals who have been...  |  Read More

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