Legal Answers
Brien Roche Law > Legal Answers > What Is Contributory Negligence?
« Go back to Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses What Is Contributory Negligence

Brien Roche

Contributory negligence is a legal defense to a civil tort claim. It is based upon fault of the party bringing the claim. Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland all adhere to the concept. One other state also follows it. As a result if a judge or jury find that the party bringing the claim is guilty of fault which contributed to the injury then you cannot recover.

What Is Contributory Negligence

The law on contributory negligence is very harsh. Most states have abandoned that concept. Those states have adopted a principle known as comparative negligence. The fault is compared. In other words if there is some fault on the part of the person bringing the claim then the person can still recover. That fault must be less than 50%. However their recovery is reduced by the amount of their fault. For instance the plaintiff is 40% at fault. In addition the defendant is 60% at fault. The total value of the plaintiff’s damages is $100,000. However the plaintiff only gets $60,000.
In states where contributory negligence is the rule then claims must be evaluated very carefully. A jury may be bound to find against the plaintiff. This applies even though the injury may be devastating. Likewise the the plaintiff  may be very sympathetic. None of that counts.

What Is Contributory Negligence-Learn More

See Brien Roche’s book Law 101 published by Sphinx Publishing for more information on this subject.

Contact a Negligence Attorney

Legal answers provided by Brien Roche, a personal injury attorney with over 40 years of trial experience. Also Contact Us today to discuss your personal injury matter.

For more info on contributory negligence see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation