Protecting Yourself Against Contributory Negligence
In slip and fall cases, the person (or company) responsible for the property will nearly always hire an insurance adjuster to handle your claim. The insurance adjuster is paid to investigate and resolve your claim. Many injury victims are shocked to learn that the insurance adjuster is quick to blame the victim as the negligent one! Yes, the adjuster shift blame by saying that the victim’s own negligence contributed to the accident! There is a very simple reason for this: blaming the victim often leads to abandoned claims or provides a justification to pay less for the harm caused.
This kind of argument is called contributory negligence. If the victim “contributed” to their own incident, they must accept a reduction in the value of their claim proportionate to their own fault. In practical terms, if the victim is seen to be 50% responsible, the injury claim should be reduced by 50%.
As you may have guessed, there is no calculator to easily determine the appropriate discount for a claim due to contributory negligence.
When considering whether an injury victim may be deemed partially at-fault for their accident, the following should be assessed:
- Did the victim do anything (or not do anything) that would have prevented him or her from noticing the hazard?
- Was the victim in an area that was open and accessible to him or her?
- Did the victim ignore any signs or safety measures?
If the party responsible for the area can show that the injury would not have happened except for the victim’s own carelessness, the injury victim will likely lose.
Have questions about a slip & fall claim?
Questions about a slip & fall case, you are best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Jeff Mitchell offers free consultation and agreements where legal fees are only payable when the claim is won.