This chapter examines various defenses that can be asserted by a defendant in a negligence action. The most important concepts are:
Contributory negligence: At common law, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies. The doctrine provides that a plaintiff who is negligent, and whose negligence is a proximate cause of his injuries, is totally barred from recovery.
Last Clear Chance: The doctrine of “Last Clear Chance” acts as a limit on the contributory negligence defense. If, just before the accident, D had an opportunity to prevent the harm, the existence of this opportunity (the last clear chance) wipes out the effect of P’s contributory negligence.