Contributory Negligence

Know Your Legal Options

What is Contributory Negligence?

Understanding some legal concepts if you’re not an injury lawyer can be very challenging. One of the cases in which you are most likely to benefit by hiring an attorney is where the doctrine of Contributory Negligence might be raised. Because this legal argument can destroy a case, it is a situation in which it is most important to seek an experienced injury attorney. While most states have adopted a Comparative Negligence doctrine, which seeks to restore a balanced and fair system, North Carolina still allows a defendant to argue Contributory Negligence in a case.

If you’ve been the injured victim in any accident, including a car accident and are seeking compensation for your damaged property and medical expenses, the defendant may say that you were partially to blame. This law means that even if the at fault person can prove you were only 1% to blame for the car accident, you may not be awarded any compensation whatsoever, even if that other person was 99% to blame.

What is the difference between Contributory Negligence and Comparative Negligence?

The doctrine of Comparative Negligence differs from the Contributory Negligence defense. In Comparative Negligence jurisdictions, when a defendant can claim that the plaintiff was partially at fault the defendant can only argue that their compensation should be reduced by a percentage equivalent to the percentage of fault they are judged to have. Therefore if you were only 20% to blame for the severity of your injuries, leaving the other party liable for 80%, this could reduce your compensation by 20%.

When you’ve been injured by a person who could use a Contributory Negligence defense, without the right legal representation, you could face losing your case completely, and receiving zero compensation.

Should I hire an injury attorney if I fear the other party may argue Contributory Negligence?

This means that all financial restitution you may claim, including coverage for medical expenses, lost time and wages, future medical costs, and pain and suffering could be lost simply because of a law that exists only in a few states. Because of all this, an injury attorney is your safest option to ensure that you receive compensation after an injury-causing accident. It is important to remember that the State of North Carolina, and Raleigh, has a statute of limitations governing the amount of time in which you may seek compensation for an accident-related injury. This means you must file a claim within the applicable time period or you will lose the right to pursue compensation forever.

The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the sooner you will understand your legal options. Even if you think you may not have a case, an experienced attorney will be able to help you understand Contributory Negligence, and it still may be possible for you to receive a fair and just settlement.

Contact the Law Offices of Eric H. Kassor today to speak with him about your injury accident. He is an injury attorney who can explain the ins and outs of Contributory Negligence. It is best for you to know your rights, so that you may protect your interests. We will set up an initial consultation to go over any questions you might have, and discuss whether you may still have a case, even if you were partially at fault in an accident.