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Report No. 85

3.58. Modification of contributory negligence rule in some countries on continent.-

In some other countries also-e.g. in Sweden-traffic accident insurance still relies on the "comparative negligence" rule of the general law of tort. The court has a discretionary power to reduce the award if the victim has negligently contributed to the accident, due regard being had to the degree of fault on either side. The rule is applied even to the detriment of the dependants of a person who is killed in a traffic accident to which the decedent's negligence has contributed.1 The general rules of tort law are modified only in one respect: slight negligence on the part of the victim is disregarded ("when there is only little to blame the victim"). In the rest of the cases, in such countries, where the person suffering damage has contributed to his loss by his own negligence, the damages due to him under the law of torts are, as a rule, apportioned.2 He will receive only a fraction of what he would otherwise receive.

1. Selmer Interaction between insurance and tort theories, (1970) 18 AJCL 145 (162).

2. Hellner Tort liability and liability insurance, (1962) 6 Scandinavian Studies in Law, 131, 159.

Claims for Compensation under Chapter 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 Back

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