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The concept of contributory negligence is often used as a defense against a claim of negligence. In effect, it states that the victim was, in actuality, partially or wholly responsible for his or her injuries. As such, the concept states that the defendant should not be held liable for the damages that may have occurred.
Some of the most common cases of this occur with traffic accident cases. For example, imagine that a defendant turns left at a green light in front of the plaintiff’s car, causing an accident. However, if the plaintiff was traveling at a speed far in excess of the speed limit, it could be argued that he or she was responsible in some way for the accident.
Depending on the jurisdiction, this can serve as an absolute defense against negligence. If it is proved that the plaintiff was in any way responsible for his or her own injuries, he or she is owed no damages.
If you are involved in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to ensure that you are protected should the defendant claim that you were responsible. It is important to note that some states have a modified form of contributory negligence, wherein the charges are only dropped if the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible for their own injuries.
This article is not intended to serve as, or as a replacement for, legal advice. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact a Cedar Rapids personal injury lawyer from Leehey Olson Law, P.C., today at 877-209-9452.