Does a court have to reduce an award of damages because the injured person is deemed by legislation to have contributed to the injuries / losses?
14th Feb 2012
Yes, in accordance with Section 138 of the Motor Accident’s Compensation Act (NSW) 1999
the court must make a finding of contributory negligence in certain circumstances including the injured person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (convicted of a drinking/drug offence) unless it can be proven that intoxication did not contribute to the injury; the injured person voluntarily accepted a lift from someone known to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and could not have reasonably declined the lift; the injured person failed to wear a seat belt; the injured person failed to wear a helmet where s/he was legally required to do so. Damages are reduced by a percentage the court thinks is just and equitable.
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