What is contributory negligence in the context of MVAs?
A: In the context of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), contributory negligence refers to a legal concept where the injured party (plaintiff) is found to have contributed to their own injuries through their own negligent actions or failure to exercise reasonable care. Under Alberta, Canada's laws, contributory negligence can impact the outcome of a personal injury claim and the amount of compensation an injured party receives.
In Alberta, the Contributory Negligence Act governs the concept of contributory negligence. Under this act, if an injured party is found to have contributed to their injuries, the court will determine the degree of their negligence and reduce their compensation accordingly. Alberta follows the principle of comparative negligence, which means that the compensation awarded to the injured party will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their total compensation awarded would be reduced by 20%. If the total compensation was initially determined to be $100,000, the plaintiff would receive $80,000 after considering their contributory negligence.
In the context of MVAs, contributory negligence may be established in various ways, including:
Speeding: If the injured party was speeding at the time of the accident, this could be considered contributory negligence, as their excessive speed might have contributed to the collision.
Failure to wear a seatbelt or helmet: If the injured party was not wearing a seatbelt in a car or a helmet while on a motorcycle or bicycle, this could be seen as contributory negligence since their injuries might have been less severe had they taken proper safety precautions.
Distracted driving or walking: If the injured party was using a cell phone, texting, or otherwise not paying attention while driving or walking, this could be considered contributory negligence, as their distraction might have contributed to the accident.
Intoxication: If the injured party was driving or walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this could be viewed as contributory negligence, as their impaired judgment and reaction time might have played a role in causing the accident.
Failure to obey traffic laws: If the injured party failed to yield the right of way, ran a red light or stop sign, or committed another traffic violation, this could be considered contributory negligence, as their actions might have contributed to the accident.
It is essential for injured parties to consult with a personal injury lawyer, such as Kantor LLP Personal Injury Lawyers, when dealing with MVAs involving contributory negligence. An experienced lawyer can help evaluate the case, gather evidence, and present a strong argument to minimize the impact of contributory negligence on the compensation awarded. They can also guide their clients through the complex legal processes and help them understand their rights and options under Alberta's laws.