How Does Contributory Negligence Affect Your Accidental Claim Settlement?

How many times do you turn on the television or read the newspaper and hear about a car accident – either major or minor? If you said, “I hear about these car accidents all of the time,’ you are observant. Car accidents are indeed commonplace. If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you need to know about contributory negligence and how it will affect your case and settlement in court. Once you understand this, you need to hire a lawyer that will win your case.

The basics of car accident entitlement

Canadian law states, as most personal injury lawyers know, that everyone who is involved in a car accident (in Canada) is entitled to receive Statutory Accident Benefits. The amount awarded to the plaintiff depends on the severity of the accident and of bodily injury and property damage sustained. However, if that person’s car accident and resulting damages and injuries were caused by a careless/negligent driver, he or she (the plaintiff) may be eligible for additional compensation through a tort claim or civil lawsuit. However, in order to win a settlement from that kind of a lawsuit, the plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant was indeed driving in a negligent manner.

Most personal injury lawyers in Orillia are familiar with Canada’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) if you want to win a settlement from a tort or civil lawsuit. This schedule is a list of benefits that anyone in Canada who is involved in a car accident can receive. They are paid solely based on the level of injury and property damage the plaintiff has sustained. SABS is also referred to as “no-fault benefits.” Some of its monetary benefits include:

● Replacement income if the plaintiff can no longer work at full capacity
● Money for extra medical treatment and rehab costs
● Money for attendant care
● money for funeral expenses and death benefits if a wrongful death occurs
● Additional expenses – the payout is determined by the severity of injuries that the plaintiff endured.

However, many plaintiffs find that these benefits are not enough to help them pay for full recovery costs. That is why they pursue extra money in tort and civil lawsuits. Canadian lawyers know the following about tort or civil lawsuits:

● They can be filed by the victim in the instance of negligent driving where the defense was at fault
● These lawsuits seek restitutory compensation
● They pay for pain and suffering:

○ Loss of or care of loved ones
○ Income loss or loss of the ability to earn
○ Medical care and expenses
○ Other unforeseen expenses

Your lawyer will inform you that under the contributory negligence law, you can only recover the amount of monetary compensation that the defendant caused you. For example, if the defense caused 40% of your total damages, then you will receive a settlement that covers 40% of your total additional expenses resulting from the car accident.

Furthermore, your lawsuit settlement is reduced by 25%. This is if the defense can prove that part of the accident is your fault. A good example is you failed to put chains on your tires before driving in icy weather.You and your legal team can indeed win a contributory negligence lawsuit, but you should know that the total monetary amount you will receive is subject to the factors.