Yesterday morning I watched a rider come to grief. Blue Gixxer was filtering up towards the intersection. He reaches the lights and a few moments later they turn green. I watch him open the throttle right up and follow him under hard acceleration. I then hear an almighty bang and see a rag doll flying through the air. Both his white converse boots came off. Car was doing a U-turn further up the highway and would ordinarily have had plenty of time. But not this time because the rider was speeding. Sometimes more than one driver may be at fault. When a Magistrate decides that both drivers are at fault they will then decide how the fault is shared between the drivers. This is called contributory negligence. Contributory Negligence cases from Magistrates Courts right up to the High Court of Australia dictates that both the rider and driver will share blame. This will be case whether the driver simply didn't look twice before proceeding across the lanes or was 3 times over the allowed blood alcohol concentration. What we can discuss is what percentage of contributory negligence do you give to each person eg. rider 70% at fault, driver 30% at fault. Joel and Wendy’s cars collide at an intersection. Wendy failed to give way and Joel was speeding. Joel makes a claim against Wendy for damages to his car worth $5000. Wendy makes a claim (cross claim) against Joel for damages to her car worth $2000. At the hearing, the Magistrate first decides that Joel is 60% responsible for the accident and Wendy is 40% responsible. The Magistrate then decides the amounts that each of them are claiming for repairs to their cars are fair and reasonable. Finally, the Magistrate awards Wendy $1200, which is 60% of what she was claiming, and awards Joel $2000, which is 40% of what he was claiming. Even though the Magistrate decided Joel is more to blame for the accident, the cost of repairing Joel’s car is higher. As a result, Wendy has to pay Joel $800 (which is $2000 - $1200). She also has to pay for the costs of the repairs to her own car, while Joel has to pay a further $4,200 to repair his car. When I have time, I'll post some interesting court cases revolving around contributory negligence and other related legal principles. Justus.