What is contributory negligence?

The term "contributory negligence" is used to describe the actions of an injured person that may have also caused that person's own injuries. For example, a person who ignores a "Wet Floor" sign and slips and falls in the supermarket may be found to have been careless and at fault for any injuries suffered. "Contributory negligence" can prevent a person from collecting any monies to compensate for injuries suffered, even if that person's carelessness was minor. Some states have done away with the concept of contributory negligence altogether and instead use the concept of "comparative negligence." Comparative negligence looks to the degree of fault of each party in determining whether an award is justified in the case and what amount the award will be.