Contributory negligence is a common defence by a negligent party in personal injury cases. When you bring a claim for compensation, the negligent party may try to put the blame back onto you by claiming contributory negligence.

Contributory negligence is also known as partial liability, and may reduce your overall award of damages if proven. Partial liability does not absolve the other party of negligence, and you may still claim damages.

When injured in an accident that was partially your fault, the negligent party often uses the contributory negligence gambit to fight the claim. Your solicitor will counter that yes, you may have contributed to your injury, but that does not mean the other party was not negligent in their duty of care to you.

Your personal injury solicitor seeks to recover the damages through a claims process. If you have been injured, and your life impacted by an accident that was partially your fault, a claim for compensation seeks financial redress for your injuries and financial losses.

If you have been injured in an accident, The Personal Injury Team No Win No Fee solicitors will file your compensation claim and get you the money you deserve.

Can I make a forklift injury claim even if I was at fault

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is when you accept part of the blame for your accident while establishing that the other party was also responsible for your injuries.

An example of contributory negligence is when you are hit by a car when crossing the road without looking. The car driver may consider the accident your fault for not looking, but they only knocked you down as they were going over the speed limit for the zone and were unable to stop in time. 

The contributory negligence is that you did not look before crossing the road. The car driver is still partially liable for driving at speed. You may admit contributory negligence, but you might still have a road traffic accident claim.

Your personal injury solicitor seeks compensation while admitting your contributory negligence but secures it at a reduced rate.

Are you eligible for compensation?

If you want to pursue damages for the accident you have suffered, we have a simple 3 step process to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

  • Take our online assessment & speak with our team
  • Our team of claim specialists will undertake a full case review
  • We will send a legal letter and our solicitors will pursue your compensation on your behalf

All case reviews are 100% cost and commitment free.

Can you still win a case with contributory negligence?

Yes, you can still win a case with contributory negligence as a factor. Someone is still to blame if you are only partially responsible for the personal injury accident. 

In a contributory negligence case, the parties involved will fight to apportion the blame. The other party may try to get you to take 100% responsibility, but your solicitor will make your case for contributory negligence.

When you make a claim for compensation against the person responsible for your injury, they often deny liability and fight the case. In many cases, they will have evidence, CCTV, and eyewitnesses, to show you contributed to the accident. 

To prove contributory negligence, the defendant must prove that:

  • You did not take reasonable care to avoid injury happening
  • Your lack of care contributed to the injury
  • The injury was likely due to your actions

If your solicitor has the evidence to prove liability by the defendant, the two sides may come to an agreement on the contributory negligence side of the case.

The two sides will agree on who shares what portion of the blame. If your solicitor accepts that you are 50% to blame, for example, then the compensation due to you is reduced by 50%.

The Personal Injury Team solicitor makes your claim for compensation in a contributory negligence case.

Why can you claim when it was your fault?

You may claim when it was your fault because it was only partially your fault. Contributory negligence allows you to continue your personal injury claim after admitting that some of the accident was your fault.

You claim for the part of the accident that was not your fault. If you are hit by a speeding car but did not look before crossing the road, you admit you should have looked, but the driver is still partially to blame. 

The car driver may not be fully responsible, but they are partially so, and you may claim for compensation against their insurance company.

Our personal injury solicitors handle your compensation claim when you are injured, and it was partially your fault.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Take a few minutes to fill in our claim assessment form and find out how much compensation you will be entitled to.

Common claims that may involve contributory negligence

Common claims that may involve contributory negligence range from road traffic accidents to public liability claims. There are two sides to every story, and this is very true when it comes to personal injury compensation claims.

Some common claims that often involve contributory negligence:

  • Road traffic accident claims
  • Workplace injury claims
  • Public liability claims
  • Holiday injury claims
  • Motorcycle injury claims

Road traffic accident claims

Road traffic accident claims can have a contributory negligence side that splits the blame between the two parties.

You may be travelling in a car that collides with another vehicle. You claim damages for your injury, but because you were not wearing a seatbelt, the defendant can claim contributory negligence.

road traffic accident compensation

Workplace injury claims

Workplace injury claims often see contributory negligence as part of a settlement for compensation.

You may claim for a back injury due to lifting heavy goods in the store room. If your employer supplied you with a back harness but you only wore it some of the time, they may have a valid claim for contributory negligence.

Workplace injury compensation

Public liability claims

Public liability claims are common areas where contributory negligence becomes an issue between the two sides in the case.

You may slip and fall onto broken glass that has not been cleared off the nightclub floor. The defendant may be guilty of leaving the glass on the floor, but you may have shared liability if you fell because you were drinking.

public liability claim

Holiday injury claims

Holiday injury claims are for broken bones, cuts, and soft tissue injuries suffered due to the negligence of others while on a break away. 

If you didn’t wear the supplied protective gear when doing an activity, you could be guilty of contributory negligence in a compensation claim you bring against the operator.

Holiday injury claims

Motorcycle injury claims

Motorcycle injury claims are often for severe harm, such as head, neck and brain injuries as well as spine and limb damage.

The car owner may be guilty of opening the door on you without looking. If they can show you were going above the speed limit or driving recklessly, the defendant can claim contributory negligence in the case.

Contributory negligence claims show how each personal injury claim is not always as clear-cut as it could be.

Our solicitors use their experience of contributory negligence to win the compensation you deserve from your personal injury claim.

motorcycle accident claim

Our Process

We make the claim process as simple and streamlined as possible, and that’s one of the reasons we’re maintain a 4.9 / 5 ★ rating from our customers!


The first step is to get in touch and tell us what went wrong. It’s free and easy. Call our 24-hour helpline: 0800 027 0370 or request a callback here.

Claim Evaluation

Once you have spoken with our team we’ll let you know how we can help. This will involve a thorough case review and understanding of the incident, financial damages and physical injuries.

Legal Letter

Once we are satisfied we have all the information we require and have a full understanding of your circumstances. We send a letter of claim to the negligent party outlining your claim and compensation requirements.

How does contributory negligence affect compensation?

Contributory negligence affects compensation by reducing the total amount you may claim. If you admit contributory negligence, you agree you are liable for part of your injury case.

What needs to be agreed upon in a contributory negligence case is the percentage of blame each party accepts. In some cases, the ratio is 50:50, and both parties equally share the overall blame.

Often the ratio is 60:40 or 75:25, depending on the evidence the defendant produces and how your solicitor can counter their claims for contributory negligence. The defendant’s solicitor may try to call your bluff, but a good No Win No Fee solicitor fights your corner.

When the portion of contributory negligence is agreed upon, the compensation is reduced by that percentage. If the damages sought are £100,000, and contributory negligence is 50%, the award to you is made at £50,000. 

Contributory negligence reduces the compensation amount by the portion of blame accepted by both sides.

Your No Win No Fee solicitor makes your claim your compensation.

How does contributory negligence affect compensation