Sometimes it will be alleged by the defendant that the party has been injured because of their own lack of care. Courts can apportion liability for motor vehicle accidents on a percentage basis, depending on the negligence of the parties concerned. An injured party will succeed in their action by proving initially that the other driver has been negligent. But the damages which they would normally recover will be decreased if the court decides that they did not take reasonable care for their own safety. For example, a driver may sue the other driver in a collision for personal injuries, but may be held partly responsible for the injuries themselves because of failure to wear a seat-belt.
Usually an injured person will be precluded from recovering any damages at all on the basis that the risk of injury was voluntarily assumed (for example, when a passenger knowingly gets into a car with a driver who is grossly affected by alcohol). Good legal advice should be sought in such a situation since a claim may not always be useless.
Page last updated 13/12/2017