Jan 27, 2013: Contributory Negligence
Contributory negligence is a legal principle which means that someone cannot recover any damages for if they have been found to be even 1% at fault in the accident.
Even if one party is deemed to be 99% at fault, and the other party deemed to be only 1% at fault, there can be no recovery of any damages.
For example, if a driver speeds through a red light and strikes a pedestrian, it would seem like an open and shut case, right? However, if it’s determined that the pedestrian wasn’t in the crosswalk, the court may well rule that there are no damages to recover because both the driver and pedestrian were at fault, even if the vast majority of blame lies with one party.
At one time, contributory negligence was a common principle in most legal systems. Now however, most states have modified this doctrine, and Alabama is one among only four states and the District of Columbia, that still enforce a pure contributory negligence doctrine. This presents serious challenges for personal injury lawyers in the state working to achieve justice for their clients.