Contributory Negligence in Practice

James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in Practice', Inner Temple Yearbook 2016-2017, pp.141-143

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 60/2017

3 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2016

See all articles by James Goudkamp

James Goudkamp

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Donal Nolan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 27, 2016

Abstract

The doctrine of contributory negligence reduces the compensation which the victim of a wrong receives where the victim was partly to blame for his or her own damage. The doctrine is one of the most important rules in England private law. It is frequently relied on by defendants both in litigation and in negotiating settlements, and damages are regularly discounted for contributory negligence by substantial amounts (often as much as 50 per cent). Despite the doctrine's significance, there has never been a comprehensive empirical analysis of it in England and Wales (or elsewhere). Accordingly, in an effort to improve understanding of this important part of private law, we carried out two empirical studies of it. The first study explores how the doctrine is applied at first instance. The second examines the operation of the doctrine on appeal. In this article we offer an overview of both studies.

Keywords: Contributory negligence, comparative fault, empirical study, apportionment, fault

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Goudkamp, James and Nolan, Donal, Contributory Negligence in Practice (September 27, 2016). James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in Practice', Inner Temple Yearbook 2016-2017, pp.141-143; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 60/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2844508

James Goudkamp (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Donal Nolan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

Worcester College
Oxford, OX1 2HB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/people/donal-nolan

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