Contributory Negligence in Practice
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in Practice', Inner Temple Yearbook 2016-2017, pp.141-143
3 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2016
Date Written: September 27, 2016
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: Suggested Citation