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The concept of contributory negligence

The concept of contributory negligence first appeared clearly at the beginning of the 19th century but the general idea of this concept was somewhat could be traced much earlier. one of the most significant case laws pertaining to this concept was Butterfield v Forrester, (1807) [1] . In the ester year of the development of contributory, if the injury caused to claimant have been caused partly because of the negligent act of the defendant and partly because of some negligent act on his part, then, at common law he can't recover anything for damages caused to him.

Contributory negligence doesn't only play a significant role in absolving the defendant of his ability but also the assessment of damages. For a tort of negligence to be contributory in nature, it should be in the proximate cause of actual injury to qualify as contributory negligence.

If the prima facie facts and evidence relating to the case show the plaintiff has contributed to injury by doing negligent act on his part (Novus actus interveniens), then he can't bring an action for recovery of damages. A distinction must be drawn between the condition and the actual causes, between causa sine qua and causa causans. A question must always be asked the act committed whether had a tendency which in the natural sense exposed him directly into a place where he ‘ll get injured if it had not the negligence on part of the plaintiff is considered as contributory in nature.

One who can see or could have seen if he had looked like a prudent man, and knows the danger to which he is exposed to and has a knowledge of the whole scenario, fails to act in a way a reasonable and prudent man will under certain circumstance will do and this results in negligence on his part it will ultimately result in defeat of claim of recovery from plaintiff notwithstanding the negligence done by defendant.

In certain cases when the defendant's misconduct is of such nature that it induces fear in the plaintiff's mind and in a try to escape the consequence of the defendant's misconduct he rushes into danger and gets injured, in such instance the conduct from plaintiff's behalf doesn't contribute to the injury. The law basically doesn't ask the plaintiff to exercise the same degree of care that a reasonable person in such person will do.

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