Contributory negligence examples

The concept of contributory negligence is based on a claimant being partly responsible for the damage. The clearest example is a car driver who does not wear a seat belt. Not wearing the seat belt does not cause the accident, but it contributes to the damage – the injury.

Contributory negligence needs some explanation.

Contributory negligence is sometimes called partial fault, but this is confusing. The concept is based on a claimant being partly responsible for the damage. I am asked about 50:50 offers to settle personal injury cases. They are usually just compromise offers which have no real basis in law.

seat belt and contributory negligence

A good example to start with is a car driver or passenger who does not wear a seat belt. Not wearing the seat belt does not cause the accident, but it contributes to the damage (the injury in this example).  Another example is where an employee has failed to wear safety equipment. An accident occurs for other reasons, but the failure to wear safety equipment contributes to the injury, not the accident. If this claim is upheld by the court, the employer can suggest that any damages awarded to the complainant should be reduced by an amount that represents the portion of the blame assumed by the employee. If a claimant is found to have contributed by 20 per cent, that same 20 per cent will be deducted from the compensation received. Continue reading “Contributory negligence examples”