California and Oklahoma fall under two different categories when it comes to Comparative Negligence. California recognizes the Pure Comparative Fault Rule, which allows the plaintiff to recover damages even if they are the party that is the most at fault. Oklahoma, however, follows the Modified Comparative Fault with the 51 percent bar. This means that if the plaintiff is found to be 51% or more at fault in the accident, then they cannot receive any recovery of damages. If the plaintiff is less than 50% at fault, they can recover damages, but the recovery is reduced by the percentage of which they are found to be at fault of.
If in Oklahoma you happen to be walking on another’s property, and you slip and fall, you can make a legal claim to try and receive recovery of damages such as medical bills. But, the other side of the claim, the property owner, can argue against you in the case and make a claim that you are partially at fault. This is a common act in may injury cases. For an injury claim, Oklahoma will attempt to place shared fault on both parties, but it is how the fault is split that is the most important. If the plaintiff happens to be the most negligent, they are at risk of receiving nothing for recovery. But, if the plaintiff is at a fault of 10%, they will receive 90% recovery.
If the same case were to have happened in California, the plaintiff would receive recovery even if they were completely at fault for the injury. The recovery received would be reduced the same amount as the percentage that they are found to be at fault of. If the plaintiff were at 90% fault in the injury, then they would only receive 10% of the damages. The majority of states do not agree with this way, though. 33 states fall under the Modified Comparative Fault Rule and do not issue recovery to the plaintiff when they were the negligent party.
This article was contributed by Los Angeles accident lawyer Hussein Chahine of the SoCal Injury Lawyers. He is a member of the Multi Million Dollars Advocates Club and is one of the top litigation lawyers in all of Southern California.