top of page

Understanding Contributory Negligence

contributory negligence

In any personal injury case, there’s the claimant (the person injured), and the defendant (the person or entity responsible for those injuries). In many instances, the defendant will use a defence of contributory negligence in an attempt to avoid having to compensate, in part or in full, the claimant for their injuries. Contributory negligence is applicable when the claimant is found to have contributed to their injury in some way. Since courts may split liability between both parties, it’s important for claimants to work with a personal injury lawyer who can act as an advocate on their behalf and fight for their right to receive maximum compensation.


If you were hit by a car while Jaywalking or crossing a busy street at a non-suitable crossing point, you could be found partially or entirely at fault for the injury. In a case where you’re determined to be partially to blame, you’ll be assigned a percentage for which you’re deemed responsible. For instance, if you’re found to be 75 per cent at fault, you’ll only receive 25 per cent of the compensation that would otherwise be awarded. Additional examples in which contributory negligence may be argued include: • Failing to wear a helmet while riding your bike • Not wearing a seatbelt while driving • Speeding • Riding in a car with a driver you know is drunk Do you believe you’re partially at fault for your injury? If so, you may be wondering if you should pursue your claim. Though you probably shouldn’t be deterred, your best recourse is to discuss the matter with a personal injury lawyer.


In Ontario, you can still receive compensation even if you’re found to be at fault. Nonetheless, contributory negligence cases can be complicated and challenging to resolve. In fact, if a court is unable to determine liability due to insufficient evidence, they’ll rule that both parties are equally liable. This can significantly affect the amount of compensation you receive. This why it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.


Feifel Gualazzi is a personal injury law firm with offices in Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa. We specialize in motor vehicle accidents, no-fault automobile benefits and all other types of personal injuries. Our team of experienced lawyers will advocate effectively on your behalf and we won’t charge you any fees until the case is settled or proceeds to trial with a successful verdict. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


bottom of page