Contributory negligence occurs in cases where the person who is injured may be somehow at fault for (or has contributed to) to the accident which caused the injuries.
It is important to clarify this at any early stage of the process. In a claim for personal injury* the Claimant will still be entitled to compensation as long as they can show that the other party was primarily responsible for the accident.
However if the Claimant is found to be contributory negligent for the accident, then it is likely that the Defendant will raise the issue and will seek to reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay to the Claimant.
Most often the matter of contributory negligence can be agreed between the parties. If it cannot be agreed it will have to be adjudicated on by a Court.
If the Defendant can show that the Claimant negligence contributed to the accident, the Claimant’s damages will be reduced accordingly. For example if it is agreed or found that the Claimant contributed 20% any damages awarded will be reduced by 20%.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.