Are you considering filing a personal injury claim but believe you may be partly at fault? You may still be able to make a claim for damages, but it’s essential to understand how “contributory negligence” works and the potential implications for your case. Let’s take a look.
What is Contributory Negligence in Law?
Contributory negligence is a legal concept that looks at the role of a claimant in a personal injury case. In short, it states that if a claimant’s actions contributed to their own injury, then they may not be entitled to full compensation. Or, the court may reduce the compensation awarded.
For example, if you’re hit by a car while you are crossing the road, but you failed to look both ways before you stepped out, then the court may decide that you were partly to blame for the accident. If you’re in the car and hit a jaywalker, you’re still responsible for the accident.
Some other examples of contributory negligence include:
- A driver who didn’t wear a seatbelt received severe injuries after a crash.
- A customer slipped and fell in an establishment after ignoring a wet floor sign.
- An employee who hurt themselves lifting after receiving training for proper technique.
Even when you’re partially at fault for an accident, you may still be able to make a claim.
How to Make a Personal Injury Claim
Claimants should contact a personal injury lawyer, like the professionals at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, to make a claim. Since personal injury law is so broad, you’ll need a professional to help you through the process. A lawyer can also increase the amount earned on your claim.
During a contributory negligence personal injury claim, the court will consider the extent of the claimant’s actions and the actions of the other party. Then, they’ll consider whether the claimant’s actions were reasonable in the circumstances via evidence and legal precedents.
If the accident was partially your fault, the court would determine compensation based on which party was most at fault. In most cases, you can receive personal injury compensation for medical and home modification expenses, loss of earnings or capacity, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to note that contributory negligence is not a bar to making a claim; it simply means that the damages awarded to the claimant may be reduced if proof of negligence is found.
How Can You Reduce the Impact of Contributory Negligence?
If you believe that you may have been partly at fault for your own injury, there are steps that you can take to reduce the impact of contributory negligence. Firstly, you should seek legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations. Make sure the lawyer is local.
Local lawyers have a deeper understanding of laws in their jurisdiction, making it easier for them to fight for your rights. They also know court nuances that other lawyers may not notice.
In addition, it’s crucial to gather evidence to support your court case. This includes witness statements/testimonies, medical records, and photographs of the accident scene. Gathered evidence can be used to demonstrate that you were not entirely to blame for the accident.
Finally, if the other party has made an offer of settlement, you should always seek legal advice before accepting it. A settlement offer may not be in your best interests, as it may not adequately reflect the impact of the injury or account for the impact of contributory negligence.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and believe that you may be partly at fault, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim. It’s important to understand how contributory negligence works and to take steps to reduce the impact of your actions on your claim.