North Carolina personal injury lawyer Brent Adams explains contributory negligence in this video. Only a handful of states have contributory negligence legislation. With so many people moving to North Carolina and traveling in our state on business, folks often ask our attorneys what these statutes mean. Contributory negligence is a law that says if the victim of a car accident was negligent or careless, then they do not recover anything, no matter how negligent the guilty party is. A person has a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person.