Legal Doctrine of Contributory Negligence in Business Law

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The doctrine of Contributory Negligence

The doctrine of Contributory Negligence in business law allows preventing paying legal compensation to the plaintiff if the accuser's carelessness is discovered.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative Negligence works to offer compensation even if the plaintiff is careless and the degree of negligence is 50% or less.

The doctrine of Contributory Negligence and compensation

The doctrine of Contributory Negligence declares no compensation of both parties if their negligence allowed the accident to happen. In the case study materials, Oliver's losses are calculated at $100,000, whereas the liability has been allocated at 60 to 40 in Oliver's favor. Since Oliver's contribution was 40% while the defendant's was 60%, no compensation for either party. Thus Oliver stands to earn nothing in damages even though an accident did occur. Since Oliver was negligent, automatically Tim is relieved of the burden compensating Oliver.

Comparative Negligence and damages

In Comparative Negligence doctrine, however, careful observation of facts is important to ascertain the degree negligence; contra to the Contributory Negligence doctrine, the plaintiff is entitled to damages as long as the extent of liability exceeds 50% otherwise no compensation. In the current scenario, Oliver’s liability has been apportioned at 40% while that of Tim is ascertained at 60%. Under the Contributory Negligence, thus Oliver is entitled to $60,000 after deducting his liability apportionment.

Comparative Negligence vs Contributory Negligence

The Contributory Negligence seems to be harsher as compared to Comparative one. It originated from the common law. The Comparative Negligence seems fair, and it arises from the statutory laws. Given the preceding, the plaintiff may either receive compensation or not depends on the overriding principle being adopted that is Contributory or Comparative Negligence.

October 12, 2022


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Legal Business Law

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