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Alabama Automobile Accident Attorney Contributory Negligence

Alabama Automobile Accident Attorney Contributory Negligence

Alabama Automobile Accident Attorney Contributory Negligence: Alabama is one of only 4 States (plus the District of Columbia) that has contributory negligence as the law of the State. Contributory negligence is a common law doctrine which holds that if a person is injured and said person was slightly negligent and therefor partially at fault, then they cannot recover any damages regardless of the actions of the defendant. So if the defendant was 99% responsible for an automobile accident, but the victim was 1% at fault, then the victim would not be entitled to receive anything.

A hard line view on contributory negligence would lead to unfair and unjust results in many instances; for example, using a "pure" contributory negligence standard, if "Billy" was drag racing his car after downing a fifth of bourbon and he hit "Jane," but Jane was an inch over the center line, then Jane would not be able to recover anything for her injuries. With this in mind, the courts have defined contributory negligence in Alabama as follows so that justice would not be averted:

In Alabama, to establish a defense of contributory negligence, the defendant has to be able to demonstrate that the plaintiff (victim) put themselves at risk and had a conscious appreciation of said risk at the moment the accident happened. Hannah v. Gregg, Bland & Berry, Inc., 840 So.2d 839, 860-861 (Ala.2002).

Having stated this, contributory negligence is NOT a defense in a claim of wantonness (conduct so reckless or done with a conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others)(e.g. Driving under the Influence).

If you have been injured in a car wreck and you have questions about your rights under Alabama law, don't hesitate to contact and talk to one of the experienced Alabama Automobile Accident Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can't

Offices in Huntsville, AL and Hoover, AL

Alabama Automobile Accident Attorney Contributory Negligence

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