While the Comparative Negligence Doctrine (also known as Contributory Negligence) allows an injured person to recover their damages to the degree that the damages are not their own fault, Idaho has adopted a modified version of the Comparative Negligence Doctrine that makes things tough for some injured people. The state allows a person injured in Idaho to recover for their damages from the other party as long as the injured person’s degree of fault is less than that of the other party. However, if the other driver does not share at least 51% of the blame for the collision, then the injured party is entitled to nothing. The injured person’s damages also must be reduced proportionate to their own degree of fault, which is typical in most states.
So, for example, if Ann is injured by Ben but has 30% of the blame for the collision, then Ann can recover the remaining 70% of her damages from Ben. If, however, Ann has 50% or more of the blame, then she is entitled to recover none of her damages from Ben, even though Ben is still up to 50% at fault for Ann’s injuries.
This same standard applies in the event there are multiple parties in the collision, as Ann’s percentage of fault must be less than the combined percentages of fault of all the other parties. This is a tough standard for people injured in Idaho, since it requires them to bear the entire burden of their own damages even if they were only 50% at fault.
(Source: Idaho Code § 6-801, found at https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title6/t6ch8/sect6-801/)