If you have suffered an injury as a result of another person’s fault, you have a right to claim personal injury compensation. How do you know another person is to blame for the accident?
Many people fail to make claims for personal injury compensation because they mistakenly believe that they are at fault and do not have a case.
For example, if you are a construction worker and injured at an unstable building site where warning signs of its instability were displayed at the entrance, even if you ignored the warning signs, you may still be entitled to claim compensation.
Any fault or negligent behaviour on your part may only have impact on the amount of compensation which you will get. This is what is known as contributory negligence. How does contributory negligence work?
Contributory negligence is a defence which is normally raised by the other side (the defendant).
The defendant does not deny that he failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid the accident, but he argues that the person making a claim (the claimant) by his own actions increased the risk of the accident happening.
This means that where the defendant is able to prove contributory negligence, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of blame which you had for the accident.
For example, contributory negligence is regularly argued in personal injury claims relating to car accidents. If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, the Court may reduce your compensation by a percentage of anything between 25% and 50%, depending on how much your injury could have been reduced if you were wearing a seatbelt.
On rare occasions a court may conclude that even though the defendant is at fault, the claimant’s actions were so negligent and unreasonable, that he contributed 100% to the accident.
Where the defendant is able to show that by your actions, you were willing to disregard all safety precautions, you will receive no compensation or may receive only nominal compensation as a token that whilst you have shown that the defendant was at fault, they can not be blamed for the injury and loss you have suffered.
A good personal injury lawyer will do his best to convince a court to lessen your level of contributory negligence. Even if the reduction is by a couple of percentage points that can mean your compensation is increased by thousands of pounds.
If you have suffered injuries in an accident, don’t assume it was your fault. A good injury lawyer can help you increase your compensation. Contact Balinda and Co
now on 0800 321 3287
to find out how we can help.