Contributory Negligence In A Personal Injury Claim.

Contributory negligence means that you, the injured party, have contributed to your injuries to some extent through your own negligence.

The court is entitled to split or apportion liability between two or more parties that might have some responsibility, so one could be the owner of the property or the occupier of the property. Another could be the property maintenance company, and, the third could be yourself, the injured party, if you did something which the court deemed was a contributing factor to your injury.
An example might be someone who slipped and fell on some ice but was wearing inappropriate footwear. It’s well known that in Canadian winters you can expect that there will be some ice and some snow on municipal sidewalks or even private driveways. If you were wearing dress shoes rather than well-soled winter boots, then the likelihood is that a judge or jury may well feel that you have contributed to your own injury to some extent. It does, however, need to be shown that the sole of the shoe was slipperier than the sole of a winter boot. A similar principle would apply to a car accident in which you were not wearing your seatbelt. Generally speaking, there would be an assumption that, to some extent, you contributed to your injuries suffered in that car accident.
Each case is different but, even if there is an element of contributory negligence, that doesn’t mean it’s a case not worth pursuing. It just means that there is some portion of the claim that will be assigned to you. If the claim is worth a $100,000, but there’s 20% contributory negligence, you would only recover $80,000 on that case. Certainly, even with these factors present, there are an awful lot of cases still worth pursuing because they have value.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the London, Ontario Region, contact Lomax Law Firm.

This article is taken from a April 24, 2009 interview with Rein Lomax, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Lomax Law Firm Professional Corporation in London, a Personal Injury Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.