Contributory negligence is a common law defense to a claim based on allegations of negligence, applied in the area of tort law. It applies to circumstances where a Plaintiff (person injured) through his/her own negligence in part causes or contributed to the accident and harm suffered. A good example is not wearing proper footwear in winter and falling as a result of unattended accumulated snow or ice on someone else’s property.

If a person is contributory negligent, the amount of the compensation will be decreased proportionate to the level of contribution. However, compensation can nevertheless be paid.