Herb Friedman – What is Contributory Negligence?

I’m Herb Friedman of Friedman Law Offices in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thanks for visiting our blog.

Many of our clients want to know what the term “contributory negligence” means. Contributory negligence is nothing more than a plaintiff contributing to his or her own injury by his or her own conduct. Let’s say that a defendant is negligent in failing to yield a directional right of way at a non-protected intersection. It could be said that the defendant, the driver of the other car, was negligent in failing to yield the right of way to the plaintiff in failing to keep a proper look out. On the other hand, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff was
also negligent, which is called contributory negligence in that the plaintiff may have been driving at an unsafe speed or failing to keep a proper look out. In Nebraska, the doctrine of contributory negligence is now known as the doctrine of comparative negligence. That simply means that the plaintiff’s negligence is compared by percentage points to the defendant’s negligence. If the plaintiff is 50 percent or more negligent, the plaintiff cannot recover at all. If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent negligent, the plaintiff receives the percentage of recovery. Thus, if the plaintiff received damages of $1,000.00, but the jury at trial concludes that the plaintiff was 25 percent at fault, the plaintiff could only receive $750.00. On the other hand, if the jury concludes that the plaintiff was 50 percent at fault then the plaintiff could recover nothing. If you have any questions, lease call Friedman Law Offices at 800-876-1093. There is never a charge to find out if we can help you (find out if you have a case). Feel free to leave a comment here on our blog, and use the share button if you know someone who might benefit from this information. Thanks for logging in.