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Contributory and Comparative Negligence Contributory and comparative negligence are legal concepts that are slightly similar in meaning. These are two separate legal concepts that minimize the liability of the defendant (McWay, 2010). The biggest difference between the two is that with comparative negligence there is usually some type of monetary compensation. But with contributory negligence, there won’t usually be any type of monetary compensation. Contributory negligence is when one person brings a lawsuit against another person for some type of bodily harm that they have suffered that they also contributed to themselves.

And it also usually is well below the legal standard of protecting themselves from any type of bodily harm. With contributory negligence it disallows any recovery of monetary damages if the plaintiff contributes to his or her injury in any way even if it is just a small amount. Comparative negligence is used to sort out responsibility in a lawsuit case when someone is injured and they are responsible as well as the person that they have brought a lawsuit against.

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With comparative negligence the amount of liability that both parties have in the accident or whatever the case may be is measured in percents (McWay, 2010). It has to be determined who has the biggest at fault percentage in the plaintiff’s injury and based up on this that is how the plaintiff is awarded monetary damages. With comparative negligence the plaintiff is usually awarded some type of compensation for their injury. It may be a small sum or it may be a large sum of money to be determined by the judge.

The physician advised his patients that an X-ray was necessary to determine whether or not his tibia had been fractured. Because of the cost of the procedure, the patient refused. The patient then sued the physician stating that he had been negligent in not ordering an X-ray. In the case above it has already been determined that the defendant (the doctor) has already found to be negligent in some sort of way. Because it doesn’t matter if it is comparative or contributory negligence, it has already been determined that the defendant was negligent in some way.

Now it has to be determined whether it was contributory negligence or comparative negligence. The doctor advised the patient that they would need X-rays to determine the extent of their injuries, but the patient refused to have the X-rays because of the cost. The doctor was negligent in not insisting that the patient have the X-rays done. The patient was negligent in refusing to have the X-rays done. In this scenario it seems to be contributory negligence. The patient contributed to their own injury.

By refusing to have the X-ray done and not knowing the extent of their injury the patient could have caused further injury to their leg. So by refusing the X-ray the patient has a large contributory responsible in their own injury. The doctor has a small contributory responsibility in the patient’s injury. The patient should not receive any monetary damages because they are mostly responsible for their own injury. References McWay, D. (2010) Legal Aspects of Health Information Management (3rd ed. ) Cengage Learning. Mason, Ohio.

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