What Is Contributory Negligence And How Can It Affect Your Claim?

In Ontario, negligence is apportioned by means of percentage of fault. So, say that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident but it comes to light that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. In that case, you may be apportioned with a percentage of fault when it comes to your injuries. Although the seatbelt was not a cause in the accident, the lack of wearing one contributed to your injuries.

To What Degree Are You Liable?

The Ontario Contributory Negligence Act is what determines if and how much of the actions of the plaintiff of the claim contributed to the damages. Not wearing a seatbelt, not wearing a motorcycle helmet or distraction by a cellphone are all things that can weigh into how much a plaintiff can be held accountable for damages in a motor vehicle accident. The compensation you are owed will then be adjusted accordingly by that percentage.

Apportioning Negligence

Apportioning contributory negligence can be complex. If both drivers insist that the other was at fault, or if several vehicles were involved in the accident, it can be highly subjective as to the percentage of negligence each driver must bear. When it comes to apportioning fault in any motor vehicle accident, each is dependent on a group of facts and evidence. Oftentimes, the strength of each party’s presentation determines those lines of liability.

Insurance Companies Will Try to Limit Their Exposure

Add to that complication the fact that insurance companies are looking to limit their own financial exposure. As Burlington personal injury lawyers, we consistently see insurance companies try to prove the injured party was at fault for the accident and injuries in order not to pay fair compensation. Even if the injured party was at partial fault for the accident, a claim can still be brought for a percentage of the costs.

Injury victims who feel that they may be found partially at fault for the accident should not be discouraged from bringing a claim for damages. Having the assistance of a Burlington injury lawyer skilled in motor vehicle claims can ensure that the victim receives compensation for their injuries that they deserve under the law.

Safeguarding Evidence

Seeking legal advice as soon as possible after an accident can help safeguard that evidence is preserved. This can be in the way of

● The event data recorder (EDR) of the car that contains information such as the speed and braking of the car
● Cellphone data from a carrier which can prove that a driver was on their device or not at the time of the accident
● Hospital records that may reveal that a driver had alcohol or other drugs in their system.
● Surveillance cameras that may show how the accident occurred.
● Eye-witnesses who may have seen the accident.

A lawyer skilled in handling motor vehicle accidents can often be instrumental in helping accident victims navigate the claims process and can initiate any necessary investigations. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call the offices of MPC Law for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights to compensation for your injuries.

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