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Connecticut Negligence Laws

Negligence is a legal concept that's generally defined as when a person acts carelessly and their actions harm another person. Examples of negligence are accidents such as a car accident, or a slip and fall in an area that had just been mopped without warning. These are accidents where a person or company can be found at least partially at fault because they weren't upholding the standard of care that society requires. For more information, see the articles in FindLaw's Negligence articles.

Contributory Negligence

States have developed laws to regulate negligence. There are two main legal negligence doctrines: comparative negligence and contributory negligence. In the few states that still have the traditional contributory negligence as law, any fault on the part of the plaintiff will prevent them from recovering for his or her losses, even if they were only 1% at fault and the other party or parties were 99% at fault. Fortunately, most states, including Connecticut, no longer have this uncompromising negligence regime and instead use comparative negligence.

Comparative Negligence

In a comparative negligence state, the plaintiff can still recover even if partially at fault. The two types of comparative negligence are pure and modified. In a “pure" jurisdiction, the claimant can collect from a defendant, even if they were found 99% at fault by the judge or jury. The defendant would still owe for their 1% fault. In a “modified comparative fault" system, which is the current majority, the plaintiff only recovers if they are found less than 50% or 51%, depending on the laws of the state. Connecticut has a modified comparative negligence law where the plaintiff can recover as long as they're not more at fault than the defendant(s) (not 51% or more).

Contribution Among Defendants

Defendants generally only pay the amount corresponding to the percentage of fault the judge or jury assigns to them. However, sometimes a defendant can't be collected against, either because they are broke or immune, such as a government entity like a public school (although that's not always true). In such cases, in Connecticut, the other defendants will have to cover that amount as well, in proportion to the fault assigned to them.

The chart below provides more detail on Connecticut's negligence laws.

Code Sections

Connecticut General Statutes:

Modified Comparative Negligence

Connecticut is a modified comparative fault state where the plaintiff can recover from the defendant(s) as long as they are not found 51% or more at fault for the accident/injuries sustained. If the plaintiff's negligence is equal to or less than the defendant's, the plaintiff can recover for their damages and they are decreased by the proportion of plaintiff's negligence.

Contributory Negligence


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes, a “tortfeasor" (the defendant or the liable person who caused the “tort" or injury) can seek contribution for the damages from other tortfeasors. Sometimes the plaintiff releases one defendant from the claim, i.e. agrees not to sue them, usually because they have settled out of court with that party. If that happens, the plaintiff can still continue the lawsuit against the other defendant(s). If you've been in an accident or have been injured because of someone's negligent acts, you should consult with a local personal injury lawyer. An attorney can tell you what your options are and most of the time in this area of law, you won't be charged anything unless you win your case.

Note: State laws are revised regularly. Therefore, you should contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to confirm the current status of these laws.

Research the Law

Related Resources

Talk to an Attorney About Negligence

If you've been injured or if your property has been damaged and you believe that someone else is at fault, you might be able to recover money for your losses under Connecticut law. You should consult with an attorney and have them review your claim.

Contact a personal injury attorney for help with your negligence claim today.

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