How Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You

How Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You

How Does Contributory Negligence Work in Accident Claims?

by Evan Henderson

If, as a driver, you have been involved in an accident that injures a pedestrian, you may face a claim for punitive damages. Yet, you may feel that the pedestrian was at least partly to blame for the outcome of the accident due to their particular behaviour at the time. Can you bring a counterclaim for "contributory negligence" against the pedestrian to reduce your potential liability? If so, how should you proceed?

Circumstances Will Dictate the Outcome

The circumstances of each accident are different, which is why the laws relating to negligence are quite broad. Typically, it is possible to reduce your liability in the event of an incident, so long as you can prove that the other party had also been negligent (contributory). For example, if the pedestrian had walked out into the road without looking, only to be struck by your car, then they could be partly to blame. However, if you, as a driver, were speeding at that time, then you will probably face an element of blame.

Assuming the Burden of Proof

If you are trying to reduce your exposure, you will need to put forward a strong case and assume the burden of proof. You will need to convince a court that the pedestrian did not adhere to the normal standards of care that any reasonable person in that circumstance would do. The fact that they walked into the road without looking means that they were negligent, even though you were speeding. You may not be able to find them fully negligent, of course, but you may well be able to reduce the amount of liability on your side instead.

Apportioning Awards

The pedestrian may try to fight that case, and it will be up to the court to decide the outcome. They may well determine that both parties were equally to blame, and if so, the pedestrian's award may be cut in half.

Putting Forward a Strong Case

Clearly, the finer detail is very important. You should gather as much information as possible and get some witnesses to testify for you if possible. You should also bring in a solicitor who is experienced in personal injury and accident matters, as they will know how to put forward your case to the best effect. Your solicitor may also be able to talk through the details of the case with the other party's legal counsel to arrive at a pre-court settlement.

For more information, contact a lawyer near you.


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How Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You

If you've ever been in an accident, you know that it can be a very traumatic experience. And if you're not injured in the accident itself, you may find yourself dealing with injuries caused by the aftermath. Dealing with insurance companies, doctors, and lawyers can be overwhelming. That's where an accident and personal injury attorney comes in. This site explains how an accident and personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. While our writers are not legal experts, they are dedicated to publishing accurate and useful advice. Read on to discover everything you need to know!