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Idaho Negligence Laws

Most injury lawsuits are based on negligence. The legal theory of negligence that holds people liable for doing (or not doing) something a reasonable person wouldn't (or would) do, causing injury. For example, motorists are required to check their rearview mirrors before backing out of a parking space. When a motorist fails to do this and it results in a pedestrian's injuries, then they are negligent and likely will be found liable.

To be found liable for the injuries of someone to which you owed a duty (such as the pedestrian, who would not have been hit by a "reasonable" motorist) means you must pay for any costs associated with those injuries (called "damages") reasonably related to your negligence. These include medical costs, lost wages, ongoing care, or even emotional distress.

To owe someone a particular standard of care depends on the situation, the person's role, proximity, and other factors. If you are a surgeon, you owe a relatively high standard of care and may be sued for malpractice if you leave a scalpel inside the patient, for instance. In the previous example, the motorist owes a duty to any pedestrians, bicyclists, or other motorists who may be nearby.

This article provides a brief overview of negligence laws in Idaho.

Negligence Law in Idaho: The Basics

Plaintiffs in Idaho may not collect if they are at least as negligent for their own injuries as the defendant, while any damages are reduced in proportion to the plaintiff's negligence.

Additional details about how Idaho handles negligence claims are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Code Section

§ 6-801 of the Idaho Statutes

Modified Comparative Negligence

Contributory negligence or comparative responsibility does not bar recovery if the claimant's negligence or comparative responsibility is not as great as the defendant's, but any damages are diminished in proportion to the negligence or comparative responsibility attributable to the claimant (§ 6-801)

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes, so long as the tortfeasor has either paid the entire judgment or more than their share of fault (§ 6-803)

Uniform Act


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of newly passed legislation, decisions from appellate courts, and other means. You may want to contact an Idaho personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Get an Attorney's Help with Idaho Negligence Laws

Because each state has its own unique set of laws, you should consult with an attorney as early as possible if you've been injured in an accident. An attorney can advise you on the laws in Idaho as well as your chances of recovering any compensation for your injuries.

Reach out to a personal injury attorney today to find out your next steps.

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