Virginia and its Contributory Negligence Stance

So you've been in a serious accident through seemingly no fault of your own and you want to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. Sounds like a perfectly plausible scenario; in fact, thousands of these types of claims are filed each year. However, if you live in the state of Virginia, there's going to be a bit more difficulty in proving your case.

Virginia is one of only 5 states plus Washington, D.C., that follows what's known as a contributory negligence policy. Under this concept an accident victim can recover damages only if he or she contributed in no way to their injuries. This means you must have been acting completely responsibly at the time of your injury.

Take for example a pedestrian accident where Bob is struck by Jim's car as Jim makes a right hand turn at an intersection. Bob suffers a fractured hip that requires surgery and a concussion, as well as road rash. Bob's personal injury claim would be valid if he were found to be crossing in a designated crosswalk with the "walk" signal on the pedestrian traffic light and Jim was speeding through the intersection.

However, if witnesses say he was jaywalking, the pedestrian signal was on "do not cross", or it was claimed he darted out into the traffic, Bob's case would most likely be seen as partially his fault and therefore the contributory negligence rule would negate any chance for compensation.

When you've been injured in an accident and are unsure if you can file a personal injury claim, you should discuss your potential case with a Fairfax personal injury attorney.
Remember that not all injury accidents are viable cases to make a Virginia personal injury claim, and your attorney can help you decide if your case is eligible for a claim or not.

Contacting a Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney

 

You don't have to deal with insurance companies alone when you're looking to file a Virginia personal injury claim. Fairfax personal injury attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their Virginia personal injury claim.

Before you go any further with your decision, order a copy of my free guide to Virginia personal injury claims, The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Virginia Accident Case. To set up a free consultation, contact me today - 703-591-9829.

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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