Contributory NegligenceAlabama is one of the few personal injury contributory negligence states. What that means is that if a person contributes to their own injury,they may not recover. Most states are comparative negligence states and under that type of law,the negligence of the parties is compared and deductions are made depending on a percentage of fault assigned.
Car wreck cases like most injury cases are what lawyers call "tort" cases. These are injury cases where the law imposes a duty to act in a manner that does not cause harm to others. Negligence has nothing to do with cases involving contracts or wills and estates but almost entirely with causing harm or injury to another person or their property.
An example of contributory personal injury negligence might be if one person is speeding and another person pulls out in front of them and fails to yield the right of way, neither party will be able to successfully bring a claim against the other in Alabama because both parties are at least 1% at fault for the accident.
In a comparative personal injury negligence state, if the party who was speeding was 10% at fault and their case was worth $100,000.00, the jury would merely deduct 10% from the $100,000.00 to account for their share of the accident.
Contributory personal injury negligence must be proven but it is a complete bar to recovery if you were even 1% at fault in your injury, in the state of Alabama.