Road accidents and contributory negligence
Under Italian Law, the contributory negligence for a road accident occurs when the liability is not totally borne by a single party, but also by the other party that someway contributed to cause the accident and this applies also to pedestrians.
First of all, there are two types of contributory negligence. If the road accident is caused jointly by the parties but not in equal measure, then it is referred to as an actual contributory negligence. On the other hand, if the road accident is caused jointly by the parties in equal measure of 50%, then it is referred to as an equal contributory negligence.
According to Italian Law, in the case of a road accident, equal contributory negligence is always applied by presumption until proven otherwise: each party has contributed equally to cause the accident, even when only one person or vehicle has suffered damages.
Nevertheless, the equal contributory negligence shall not apply if it is proven that one of the parties did not contribute to cause the road accident.
In particular, the party shall demonstrate not only the violation of the road and traffic regulations but shall also demonstrate his own positive conduct in compliance with these regulations.
However, it is important to note that contributory negligence is only presumed when it is impossible to determine the actual extent of the relevant liabilities. Therefore, if the sole liability of one party is ascertained, then the other party will be exempted from the presumption and relevant burden of proof.