contributory negligence


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Related to contributory negligence: comparative negligence

contributory negligence

n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part due to his/her own negligence (his/her negligence "contributed" to the accident), the injured party would not be entitled to collect any damages (money) from another party who supposedly caused the accident. Under this rule, a badly injured person who was only slightly negligent could not win in court against a very negligent defendant. If Joe Tosspot were driving drunk and speeding and Angela Comfort were going 25 m.p.h. but six inches over the center-line, most likely Angela would be precluded from any recovery (receiving any money for injuries or damages) from a car crash. The possible unfair results have led some juries to ignore the rule and, in the past few decades, most states have adopted a comparative negligence test in which the relative percentages of negligence by each person are used to determine damage recovery (how much money would be paid to the injured person.) (See: negligence, comparative negligence)

contributory negligence

lack of care by a plaintiff for his own safety. (In the USA the term comparative negligence is sometimes used.) Before the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945, negligence on the part of the party suing was a complete defence, however insignificant it was in the whole picture. The Act allowed a proportion of the damages to be reduced to reflect the plaintiff's fault. Children can be held to be contributorily negligent.
References in periodicals archive ?
By effectively introducing a new party into criminal proceedings, contributory negligence defies the conception of criminal law as based on the defendant's moral culpability--after all, two wrongs do not make a right.
Proposals to amend the no contribution rule generally preceded proposals to abrogate the contributory negligence bar.
This situation of the substitution of comparative negligence for contributory negligence illustrates Hayek's claim about the propriety of using legislation to rectify evolutionary dead ends in common law precedent.
27) The general history of the comparative negligence section contains the following subsections: contributory negligence, (28) the birth of comparative negligence and slight-gross, (29) the failure of slight-gross by judicial fiat, (30) and the legislative attempts at slight-gross.
The Kansas Supreme Court reaffirmed the old contributory negligence rule in the late nineteenth century case of Union Pacific Railroad Co.
jurisdictions still observe a contributory negligence regime.
When contributory negligence dominated the legal landscape, courts attempted to ameliorate the all-or-nothing nature of this legal doctrine.
The topics discussed include the choice between liability rules, the existence and scope of the contributory negligence defense, the option of entrusting the administration claims to public or private insurance agencies, and the choice between a judicial or amicable mechanism of dispute of resolution.
The court held, inter alia, that the Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in granting the plaintiff a new trial on her postrial motion when the court determined that it erred in instructing the jury on contributory negligence and the jury found Northwestern liable in the suicide of the plaintiff's decedent, and the record evidence supported the court's ailing that the plaintiff s decedent was completely devoid of reason at the time of her suicide.
He said: "Even if he had looked up, I would not have been of the view that there was contributory negligence on his part.
Between 1950 (when only a handful of state jurisdictions applied comparative negligence to negligence actions) and the present, comparative negligence, whereby plaintiffs are allowed to seek reduced damages in cases where their own negligence played a part, has become the prevailing doctrine across the United States, replacing traditional contributory negligence doctrine in all but four states.
It should be noted that in some states contributory negligence may be an absolute bar to recovery, despite the fact that another's negligence may have caused or contributed to what occurred.