What Is Contributory Negligence And How Does It Affect Me?

What Is Contributory Negligence And How Does It Affect Me?

What Is Contributory Negligence And How Does It Affect Me?

There are many complexities in personal injury claims, with some making a big difference to how much you’re owed in compensation. One of these complexities is contributory negligence. Contributory negligence helps legal teams decide who is at fault after an accident and is fundamental in reducing liability for the other party.

To help you understand contributory negligence, we’ve compiled this guide to help you understand how this can impact your claim. This blog discusses some examples of contributory negligence, outcomes, and the significance of contributory negligence.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence is the finding that the injured person after an accident had some measure of fault in the negligent act. Typically, contributory negligence is determined by whether the claimant failed to take the right measures to ensure their own safety.

When lawyers determine that both parties are at fault for injuries, the negligent party takes on significantly less liability than if they were independently negligent.

What Are Some Examples Of Contributory Negligence?

To help you fully understand this, here are some examples of contributory negligence:


Say you’re biking along a road, and a car hits you seemingly out of nowhere as you go to turn down a street. While you might see it as ‘out of nowhere’, the defendant may be able to argue that you’re partially at fault for failing to check for hazards. This means that you, as the claimant, have to take responsibility for some of the injuries as you failed to ensure your own safety.


Pedestrians can be held liable for some of their injuries if they’re hit by a car. If a car is speeding but the pedestrian fails to watch the traffic before they cross the road or if they are crossing mid-block, they can be held partially responsible for the injury and therefore contributorily negligent.

Car Accident

If two cars collide on a road but one of the drivers is not wearing a seatbelt, it could be determined that the amount of their damages can be reduced by how much worse their injuries were made by this failure. This is because the claimant failed to take responsibility for their safety prior to the accident, meaning that their injuries were exacerbated by their own actions.

The Outcomes Of Situations Regarding Contributory Negligence

The outcome of a contributory negligence situation typically manifests in the amount of compensation that the claimant is entitled to. This means that the claimant may receive less money or disability support as a result of their partial responsibility.

If there are multiple defendants at fault for injuries, then they still must pay their share of the damages regardless of the claimant’s responsibility. In scenarios where the claimant’s responsibility can’t be measured, both parties are held at fault for the injuries.

How Significant Is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence is very significant, with the percentage of your contribution determining the amount of money you will receive at the end of your claim. For example, if you’re found to be at fault for 50% of your injuries, then you will lose half of your compensation amount.

Looking For A Toronto-Based Lawyer Who Is Experienced In Contributory Negligence Cases? Call Ristich Law!

Need an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the complex world of contributory negligence? Ristich Law can help you. Our team of professional lawyers are proud to serve the residents of Toronto. Contact us now to see how we can help you.

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