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Motorcycle Contributory Negligence

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This is an important issue that can affect a claim brought by a motorcyclist.

In laymen’s terms it means that you have gone some way to contribute to your own injuries. For example, motorcycle contributory negligence can arise if you are riding without a helmet and without protective clothing and you are knocked from your motorcycle and injured, you will claim against the offending motorist.  

You have fractured your skull and fractured your leg. The damages for the skull are say £10,000 and the leg £5,000. But whilst the broken leg is unavoidable in any instance, the judge will find that because of your failure to wear a helmet, that motorcycle contributory negligence was the reason why you broke your skull and it is therefore in the Judges’ eyes that you were responsible for your own demise. In this case he will award you for the broken leg but not the fractured skull.  

Similarly even if you aren’t at fault when someone pulls out of a side road into your path, if it is proven that you were speeding at the time, the Judge will contribute some motorcycle contributory negligence to you. They usually do this in percentages, and in this instance he may award a reduction in your damages of fifty or more percent. So it is very important that you understand how this system works.

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