MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS – Apportionment of liability

Smith v Randall[1] considers how the Court apportions liability in light of two drivers who were found guilty of contributory negligence.

The Court explained that apportionment of liability between the two parties involves a ‘comparison of both culpability, that is the degree of departure from the standard of care required of the driver, and of the relative importance of the acts of the parties in causing the damage (at [74]).’ On the one hand Mr Randall was vulnerable to injury by a following car who did not slow down or who attempted to overtake him. On the other hand, Mr Smith was vulnerable to injury if he collided with a vehicle who obstructed his path whilst he attempted to overtake it (at [76]). The Court was of the opinion that both parties had to a substantial degree departed from the standard of care required of them and thus there was no real difference in culpability. The Court therefore apportioned liability equally between Mr Smith and Mr Randall.

For more information regarding contributory negligence read the full article here

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[1] [2016] QSC 191.

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