Comparative and Contributory Negligence

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  • Topic: Tort law, Tort, Contributory negligence
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  • Published : June 10, 2011
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Contributory and Comparative Negligence
Contributory and comparative negligence are legal concepts that are slightly similar in meaning. These are two separate legal concepts that minimize the liability of the defendant (McWay, 2010). The biggest difference between the two is that with comparative negligence there is usually some type of monetary compensation. But with contributory negligence, there won’t usually be any type of monetary compensation.

Contributory negligence is when one person brings a lawsuit against another person for some type of bodily harm that they have suffered that they also contributed to themselves. And it also usually is well below the legal standard of protecting themselves from any type of bodily harm. With contributory negligence it disallows any recovery of monetary damages if the plaintiff contributes to his or her injury in any way even if it is just a small amount.

Comparative negligence is used to sort out responsibility in a lawsuit case when someone is injured and they are responsible as well as the person that they have brought a lawsuit against. With comparative negligence the amount of liability that both parties have in the accident or whatever the case may be is measured in percents (McWay, 2010). It has to be determined who has the biggest at fault percentage in the plaintiff’s injury and based up on this that is how the plaintiff is awarded monetary damages. With comparative negligence the plaintiff is usually awarded some type of compensation for their injury. It may be a small sum or it may be a large sum of money to be determined by the judge.

The physician advised his patients that an X-ray was necessary to determine whether or not his tibia had been fractured. Because of the cost of the procedure, the patient refused. The patient then sued the physician stating that he had been negligent in not ordering an X-ray.

In the case above it has already been determined that the defendant (the...
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