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Have you ever found yourself in the situation where your lawyer was speaking a mile a minute – throwing out all sorts of legal jargon – and your head started to spin?  Or maybe you were simply watching an episode of Suits or The Good Wife and had the same reaction.  You thought to yourself “huh?” or “but what does it all mean?!?”  

You’ve come to the right place.  I will decode what it all means – from a personal injury perspective.

Perhaps you have heard the term “contributory negligence.”  This term gets thrown around quite a bit in my practice as a personal injury lawyer.  It essentially means that your own actions or failures contributed to your injuries.  The result is that you won’t be able to recover as much compensation for your injuries.

I’ll use a slip and fall as an example.  Let’s say you are walking through a parking lot in wintertime, slip and fall on black ice, and break your leg.  Ouch.  When that happens, you may be able to recover compensation for your broken leg from the person or company that was responsible for preventing black ice accumulating in the parking lot.

But… let’s say that you were wearing flip flops at the time and were running with reckless abandon.  It goes without saying that running in flip flops in the winter is not really a good idea.   In any event, the likely result is that your poor choice of footwear and careless running in a slippery parking lot will be treated as factors which led you to slip, fall, and break your leg.  Since your own poor choices caused you to break your leg, you may receive less or no compensation for your injuries.

The moral of the story?  Wear boots.