Making a compensation claim even if I am the party at fault

Can I make a compensation claim if I am partly at fault for the accident which caused the injury?

At GC Law this is a common question asked by our clients and the answer is yes, you can still make a claim for compensation if you were partly at fault for the accident, but the amount of your compensation will be reduced. This is what the lawyers call contributory negligence.

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is the name given to the extent to which an injured person may have contributed to their own injury. It is usually measured in percentage terms, like 10%, 25% and so on. For example, if someone is found to have been contributory negligent for their own injury to the extent of 25%, then their award of compensation is reduced by 25% and they only recover 75% of the compensation they would recover under normal circumstances.

Contributory negligence may arise in circumstances where a person is hit by a car when crossing a road, but who failed to look out for oncoming traffic before crossing. It may also arise where a person suffered an eye injury working on a lathe, but who failed to wear safety goggles that were supplied by their employer.

Duty of care

The law states that we all owe a duty of care to others to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risks of injury to them. This is commonly referred to as the law of negligence. It’s important to get good legal advice from an experienced personal injuries lawyer about the negligence aspect of any potential claim, because there may be duties of care of which you are unaware, that may actually mean you have a good claim, even when you think you don’t.

Making a compensation claim

If you believe someone’s negligence was the cause of your injury, then get advice from a good compensation lawyer, who will be able to tell you if:-There is a legal basis to your claim;

  • Against whom should the claim be made;
  • What are your chances of success;
  • The legal costs involved;
  • The possibility of an out of court settlement.

At GC Law we can advise you about all of these things at a free no obligation initial appointment.

However, strict time limits apply to personal injuries claims so it’s important to get legal advice as soon as you can after being injured in an accident to make sure your rights are protected.

If you need advice about an injury claim you can call us now on 1300302 318 or email us at

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