This arises when the person making the claim is deemed to have been in some way partly to blame for the accident or indeed for the injuries suffered. The Irish Courts have seen fit to make reductions in cases where seat belts were not worn. An employee who has certain skills and judgement is expected to excercise that judgement to ensure that he does not hurt himself. S 34 of the Civil Liability Act, 1961 allows for the reduction of damages in proportion to the degree of “negligence or want of care” on the part of the plaintiff. This means that if the claimant is found to be 50% responsible, the amount of damages payable will be reduced by 50%. It must be remembered that this will apply to all the damages even the loss of wages and other actual outlay. It can also be very important when there is a lodgement in court.
The case of Hussey v. Twomey & Ors  provides a very detailed and fairly recent decision in this area of law. It can be accessed in Rich Text Format here. It involves a drink driving case where the claimant was in the same public house as the driver from about 7.30pm until closing time. She says that she did not know that he was drinking but accepts that she did not enquire before getting into the car. There is a useful discussion about what exactly is the difference between negligence and want of care. The emphasis is on the actions of the claimant or her failure to act to look after her own safety. There was a finding of 40% Contributory Negligence in this case.