Contributory negligence means that you, the injured party or plaintiff, may be partially at fault for your injury or loss. An example of contributory negligence in a car accident is not wearing a seatbelt. A finding of contributory negligence may decrease the compensation you are entitled to under the Contributory Negligence Act.
In some cases, the Court assigns a percentage of liability between the parties in an accident. The plaintiff (injured party) does not have to prove that the defendant (person being sued) is 100% liable in order to collect damages. If the Court feels that the Plaintiff is partly responsible for the accident, however, the blame will be assigned on a percentage basis.Return to Personal Injury Glossary