A common misconception is that if you contributed to an car accident, your claim for compensation will be denied. This, however, is not always the case.
In fact, the scenario you’re imagining could be a case of contributory negligence.
As highlighted in the Negligence Act, determining the extent to which the claimant may have contributed to the automobile accident is an essential aspect of the partial fault legal doctrine.
It doesn’t matter if a plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the damage; they can still claim that their injuries or the wrong they’ve suffered are the result of someone else’s actions (or inaction).
Finally, in cases of contributory negligence, the key is determining how much or how little the plaintiff and defendant are liable in the situation.
Even if you believe you are at fault, or partially at fault, it is critical that you contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Is My Case a Case of Contributory Negligence?
Almost every automobile accident case can be framed as a case of contributory negligence. Whether it’s a failure to wear a seatbelt, failing to look on both sides of the road at a pedestrian crossing, or another similar scenario, the injured party is frequently met with resistance when claiming damages.
The problem here is that the plaintiff is frequently led to believe that they are more to blame than they are, which usually hurts their case.
A percentage is assigned in cases of contributory negligence on a case-by-case basis. A judge and jury consider numerous factors when determining the extent of liability between parties.
For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% responsible for their injury, they can still claim for 80% of the damages.
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Almost every defendant in a personal injury case tries to use contributory negligence as a defense.
Here are few scenarios that are quite common:
Failure to Wear a Seatbelt
In a traffic accident where an individual sustains (greater) injuries as a result of not wearing a seatbelt, they are generally found to be 5-10% contributorily negligent, with a maximum range of 25%.
Seeking Appropriate Representation
When dealing with a serious injury, it is critical to understand contributory negligence as well as how to deal with insurance adjusters and the inevitable accusations of a defendant.
As a result, whether it is gathering evidence, providing documentation, or bringing in an accident reconstruction expert to strengthen your case, you will need experienced legal representation to obtain justice and a fair settlement for the wrongdoings committed.
It’s difficult enough to deal with a serious injury. To make matters worse, you may have to deal with insurance adjusters who will try to convince you of your liability, discourage you from filing a claim, and even discourage you from consulting with a lawyer in the first place. Furthermore, a defendant’s lawyer may try to diminish your claim by accusing you of being more to blame than you are.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is critical that you seek proper representation and contact a personal injury lawyer who will fight for you and your claim (s).