Contributory negligence considers what amount of fault rests with the involved parties.

March 12, 2015, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Cambridge Times reported on a crash involving a car and a pedestrian on March 11, 2015 at 7:30am.  The pedestrian was actually standing beside her car when she was struck by the car.  The Cambridge woman was rushed to Cambridge Memorial Hospital.  She was reported to be suffering from serious but non life threatening injuries.  The injured person was standing beside her car, which was parked on Bismark Drive in the Galt section of Cambridge, when she was struck by a Kia car driven by another Cambridge woman.  The Kia car driver was charged with careless driving.

In a personal injury action involving a motor vehicle in Ontario, there are two broad issues that need to be addressed.  The first deals with the question of who is at fault.  It goes without saying that if you are at fault for the accident then you cannot be compensated for damages for an accident that you have caused.  Now, it may not always be as straightforward as that.  We have a concept called Contributory Negligence.  This refers to a situation where a plaintiff and defendant have both contributed to the harm that has been suffered in an accident.  Where both parties are at fault, then negligence is assigned between the involved parties based on the level of negligence “contributed” by each to the circumstances leading to the accident.  For a simple example, a person not wearing a seatbelt will likely be found to be partially at fault for injuries arising from the accident where they were rear ended by another car.  It is then up to the judge or jury to assign what percentage of liability falls on the involved parties.  Where a plaintiff is found to have contributed to the negligence that caused the injuries, then any damages to which they are entitled will be reduced by that percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.  If the plaintiff is found to be 25% at fault then the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by 25%.  It is important to understand the mechanism or series of events that have led to the accident.  A personal injury lawyer will want to thoroughly review what happened leading up to the accident and the circumstances of the accident itself.  The accident must be considered from a number of perspectives in order to ensure that all possibilities of cause are reviewed and eliminated or action is taken to include those at fault.  There are times when a private investigator or accident reconstruction specialist will be retained in order to understand the sequence of events leading up to the accident as well as more details about the accident itself and the role of the parties involved.


Posted under Car Accidents, Fractures, Pain and Suffering, Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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