A Close Look At Contributory Negligence

Even young children soon discover that an accident can result from the actions of more than one person. The legal system also recognizes that possibility. Consequently, anyone that has filed a personal injury claim could get hit with a charge of contributory negligence.

What is contributory negligence?

It is a charge made by one of the parties in a personal injury lawsuit. It alleges that one party performed some action that had the ability to increase the chances for an accident. In a personal injury case, the court uses percent to measure the extent of the opposing party’s contributions.

In legal terms, a party charged with contributory negligence has demonstrated a voluntary assumption of risk. If a plaintiff in a personal injury case has been charged with contributory negligence, he or she can still go ahead and file a claim for damages. Yet the Injury Lawyer in Stouffville knows that the award for gross damages will get reduced in proportion to the size of the plaintiff’s contribution.

What sort of action qualifies as contributory negligence?

A pedestrian would be guilty of voluntary assumption of risk, if he or she were to dart out into the street from between 2 parked cars. If a driver, were to hit that same pedestrian, the damages owned by the same driver would get reduced, in proportion, according to the extent to which the pedestrian’s actions contributed to the unfortunate incident.

In this case, the court would study the incident and decide whether or not to charge contributory negligence. Then the same court would decide on the amount of money to be taken from the award expected by the plaintiff. Consequently, the driver that hit the pedestrian would need to pay less money, as compensation for the plaintiff’s injuries.

When the law dictates the court’s decision?

Certain actions get labelled as a reason for a mandatory charge of contributory negligence. An example of such an action would be taken by the person that agrees to ride in a car with an intoxicated driver. If that same care became involved in an accident, and if the risk-welcoming passenger got injured, then the court would say that the same passenger had voluntarily assumed a known risk.

As a result, the injured passenger would get a reduced damage award. That award would be made smaller, because the passenger/plaintiff had increased his or her chances for becoming injured by agreeing to ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver. In contrast to that court action, the pedestrian in the early example would not face a mandatory charge.

The court would study the pedestrian’s actions, to see what factors motivated that act of running into the street from between 2 parked cars. If something had forced that pedestrian to take such an action, that fact would receive the court’s consideration. Yet the absence of any such factors would push the court to acknowledge the pedestrian’s negligence, one that had invited a certain amount of risk-taking.