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Understanding Virginia Negligence Laws As They Apply To Traffic Accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2016 | Traffic Accidents

When car accidents occur, one person or multiple people can be found at fault for the collision. When someone is at fault for a crash, he or she is referred to as the negligent party (or the responsible party). For example, if someone caused a wreck because he or she was drunk, the collision could be blamed on that person’s negligent behavior. However, sometimes car accidents can involve one or more negligent parties. This is why every state has laws governing negligence claims in order to dictate which party can collect a financial recovery.

Some of the laws that determine negligence after auto accidents include the contributory negligence rule, comparative fault system, and modified comparative fault rule. While most states recognize comparative negligence law and modified comparative fault rule, Virginia and the District of Columbia recognize the contributory negligence law. Unfortunately, this is a very harsh law that bars many people from collecting a monetary recovery after an accident.

Although the majority of states follow a more relaxed form of the fault law that allows people to collect compensation depending on the percentage of fault they had in the crash, Virginia is one of the few states that follows the much stricter contributory negligence law.

What Is Virginia’s Contributory Negligence Law?

Under the pure contributory negligence law, someone else has to be found 100 percent at fault for the crash in order for you to collect a financial recovery. Therefore, this means that even if you are found to have contributed to a traffic accident by even one percent, you will not be able to collect compensation—even if you are injured. This very harsh rule prevents many injured victims from pursuing a case.

Proving Your Car Crash Case

Because the negligence laws in our state are so strict, proving negligence can be difficult and complex in some situations. This is why it can benefit injured victims to have experienced accident attorneys arguing their cases. Personal injury lawyers know how to investigate traffic accidents and show that the other person’s actions were not actions a reasonable, responsible person would have taken in the same situation. However, because a personal injury claim in Virginia hinges on the fact that an injured victim didn’t do anything to contribute to the crash, the other side might point the finger back at you in order to destroy your case. Again, this is where a knowledgeable attorney will benefit you by defending your actions and arguing your case so that you aren’t found to be even a little bit at fault for the wreck.

Winning a personal injury claim can be difficult due to Virginia’s strict negligence laws; however, it isn’t impossible. Our law firm has helped many injured victims get full compensation because we know that it takes a well-developed case backed by solid evidence to prove you were not at fault for the accident. Evidence is key in winning your case, and we know where to look and what to do to in order to show that the other party was 100 percent responsible for causing the accident and your injuries.

While you can try to prove your own case without a lawyer in your corner, remember that an experienced defense attorney is on the other side trying to show that your actions also contributed to the collision. In order to have the best chance of recovering compensation in your car accident case, you should at least speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact our law office to speak with an experienced lawyer about your claim at 703-721-4233.