What Does Contributory Negligence Mean For Car Insurance?

By Sharon Gibson Posted in Car Insurance News

Contributory Negligence Defined

Contributory negligence is negligence in not avoiding penalties occurring from the negligence of another person. In other words, contributory negligence prevents a specific party from recovering damages if he or she has contributed in any way at all to the injury/accident.  For example, if a person or persons are injured while careless driving and/or driving without wearing a seat belt, he or she would not be entitled to collect any monetary damages from another party who was responsible for causing the accident. If you are found to have been a contributor to your own accident/injury, the rules applied in some states will keep you from collecting any monetary damages. However, not all states follow this approach, they instead, use the concept of a “comparative negligence,” which looks to both parties to determine a certain degree of fault.

Does Contributory Negligence Affect My Premiums

There are some cases that negligence of the parties is contemporaneous making it impossible to determine that either the accident or injury could have avoided the result of the other’s negligence. So, when an accident or injury is caused by the concurrent act of both parties and neither had the time or opportunity to avoid the accident, neither party can recover damages.

In some cases where contributory negligence can be proven and damages are not awarded, these factors can keep car insurance premium costs down. In that, if an insurance company does not have to pay out monetary damages, the insurance company does not have to recover its loses from raising insurance rates. This can also keep the insurance company from canceling any policies in the event of an insured’s accident.

Because each state and insurance company have their own specific laws concerning contributory negligence, it is a good idea to understand to understand the rules and regulations of the policy and state before contracting a car insurance policy.

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