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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I was involved in a boating accident in virginia and was charged and p

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I was involved in a boating accident in virginia and was charged and pled guilty to reckless boating. I am now being sued for personal injury, I can't afford an attorney and have answered the complaint stating contributory negligence and assumption of risk barring recovery to the plaintiff. what do I need to do to show the plaintiff knew what we were doing and still willfully participated but was injured.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Contributor negligence is just negligence. No more, no less. To prove negligence you need to prove four things
1. The person owed a duty...this is typically....most everyone owes a duty to others of reasonable care.

2. THe person acted in such a way to breach the duty. This can be the tough part, since you have to show that he actions of the person violated the duty. For example, if a person was operating a boat at excessive speed, that can be considered a breach of the duty of care

3. The breach caused the injury...or in the case of contributory negligence, the breach contributed to the accident.

4. Damages...that the breach caused damages.

It really is as simple as that...tort law is actually not complex. If you can show the plaintiff was negligent and contributed to the accident that can help reduce or eliminate the award.


Assumption of risk is wholly separate. That is when a person is aware of a risk and, understanding the risk proceeds regardless. In such a case, if the plaintiff knew his or her conduct carried risk and agreed to participate regardless? That would be facts to use to help prove your case



Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Assumption of Risk is different? Well then how do I pursue this suit under this doctrine in the state of Virginia. I did not have boaters insurance and am acting pro se.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 2 years ago.
Can you give some details on what happened?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We were camping at a waterfront campground. There were three boats. One was pulling a tube for riders and the other two were using our boats to create additional waves for the tube riders. Well I made a pass to create waves and stopped to observe the riders, one of which was my 10 year old son. As the riders approached the waves it looked to me that they were going to collide into the back of my boat(prop) so I suddenly turned my boat and it struck the towline causing the plaintiff and my son to whip around and hit the side of my boat. We had been doing this(creating additional waves) for some time already with many different riders.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 2 years ago.
What you describe sure sounds like BOTH contributory negligence and assumption of risk.

The fact that the plaintiff was engaging in this very risky behavior indicates the approved of it. Frankly, that the wanted it to happen. That is great for your case

And if the evidence is that the plaintiff created a condition that put your son at risk, forcing you to take action to try and maintain his safety? That is evidence of contributory negligence.

So what you describe you have both.

You need to prove both. In your depositions you will want to lock down the witnesses to show that the plaintiff had agreed to this (what you describe that seems clear...but you need to prove it) and to show that they were negligent (had duty/breached the duty/caused the injury/damages)...again, what you describe this seems clear but you still have to prove it...and depos can help you lock in the testimony of the witnesses to do this

P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26883
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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