Contributory Negligence – What is it & Does it Stop You From Making an Accident Compensation Claim?

We recently received a letter from a client when we asked him for details of the outcome of the claim for injuries suffered by him in a previous accident of which he had notified us.
He told us that he had been told by other advisers not to pursue a claim because it was a 50\50 situation in that he was equally to blame with the other party. Because of the time which had elapsed since that accident it was too late for us to do anything to help them although we are going to gain proper compensation for his latest prang.
However, the simple truth of the matter is that many accidents whether on the road, at work or on someone else’s premises can still lead to a successful claim for compensation even if you are partially responsible for the accident as our client was in this case.
If you are not wholly responsible for the accident you can claim compensation, although you might have to accept a reduction in the amount of compensation to reflect the fact that you could have taken more care for his own safety. Please note that this is a “reduction”.
For example, if you were 50% to blame for an accident then you can expect to recover 50% of your losses arising from the accident. If you are 40% to blame you can expect to recover 60%. If you are 30% to blame you can expect to recover, I am sure by now you can see how this works!
If you didn’t cause the accident but were in a car and for no good reason not wearing a seatbelt and suffered injuries then;
If the medical evidence shows that wearing a seatbelt would have made no difference you will recover compensation in full. If wearing a seatbelt would have made your injuries less serious than you can expect a 15% reduction. If wearing Easiest Way To Get A Settlement a seatbelt would have prevented your injuries entirely you can expect a reduction of only 25%! Even if your damages are reduced you are still entitled to recover your legal costs from the insurers of the responsible party.
These cases can be complex and how well you do will often depend upon the skill of your specialist personal injury solicitor and his ability to negotiate on your behalf.
The important point to bear in mind is that contributory negligence does not stop you making a claim but it will reduce the amount of compensation that you receive. However, your legal costs will still be paid and you can make a claim Injuries From Getting Hit By A Car under a no win no fee agreement, so you really do not have to worry. Seek early and expert legal advice as soon as you are involved in an accident that was partially your fault and you can soon find out whether you can make a claim.
Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Gray

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