Contributory Negligence Seminar at Counsel's Chambers

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The focus of the seminar was the issue of contributory negligence. Where someone has been injured, ostensibly through the fault of another, when (and to what extent) should that individual be held responsible for their own injury? Does it matter whether their own actions were deliberate, reckless or simply absent minded?

The answer is essentially that each case will depend upon its own facts although there are a number of legal principles that have been decided to help guide us lawyers to the most likely outcome.

The formal presentation was then followed by very welcome drinks, canapés and further informal chat with members of chambers and fellow lawyers.

As a clinical negligence lawyer, the issue of contributory negligence is not something that comes up very often, as patients are rarely responsible for their own medical treatment. However, it is not unheard of, and is something that I have come across in 2 or 3 cases over the course of my career. I am sure that the points that were discussed yesterday will come in useful in deciding how best to progress current and future cases where this difficult issue arises.    
Kym Provan
Senior Associate

Clinical Negligence team

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