Can A Child Be Negligent Or Contribute To His Or Her Injuries?
The law of five jurisdictions, Alabama, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, contains the doctrine of "contributory negligence". This principle, a leftover vestige from the common law of England, hundreds of years old, operates to deny any financial recovery whatsoever to an auto accident victim found to be responsible, in even the smallest measure, for causing or contributing to the accident. But what if the injured person happened to be a child?
Children under five years of age can never cause or contribute to their injuries.
Children over 5 are judged by the standard of conduct that children of similar age, intelligence and experience and development would be held to under similar circumstances. As a personal injury attorney, I routinely handle cases involving allegations of contributory negligence. I can advise you what, if any, role contributory negligence may play in your case, and how to overcome the defense. Call me.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 3/25/19.