What Is 'Contributory Negligence' In A Civil Claim?

4756 views • Jul 26, 2017

Contributory Negligence is the concept that a Plaintiff who is negligent and whose negligence contributes proximately to his injuries is totally barred from recovery. This concept is “all or nothing” meaning that if a Plaintiff is 1% negligent—cannot recover anything. This doctrine Encourages forum shopping. Some jurisdictions embrace the Last Clear Chance limit on this defense. This is the concept that If just before the accident, Δ had an opportunity to prevent the harm, and Π did not have such an opportunity—Δ becomes liable For example, Π crossed street without looking. Δ saw Π and tried to avoid hitting him but stepped on the gas instead of the brakes. D’s discovery of the danger gave him a last clear chance to avoid the accident which he failed to take advantage of. This last clear chance wipes out the effect of Π’s contributory negligence—Π can recover against Δ.