Contributory negligence is a law in which, in order to recover compensation for damages, a person cannot have contributed to their injury in any way. Virginia is one of only a few states in addition to the District of Columbia that still follows the most strict contributory negligence laws. The law essentially means that if you are found to be even the slightest bit at fault for your accident/injury, you can't recover damages for it.
Where most states observe comparative negligence, in which each party may be found to be at fault for a certain percent of the damages, with contributory negligence you must be 100% innocent of causing the accident to recover any damages at all. This means that even a 1% degree of fault will render you ineligible to collect damages from the other party who was 99% responsible for your accident.
Proving fault in a state with contributory negligence can be extremely difficult and frustrating without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. You will need solid evidence to show that the other party was completely negligent in their actions and caused the accident that resulted in your injury. One of the most important things that any attorney brings to the table is his or her experience dealing with complex laws like contributory negligence. Your attorney's job is to put together the best argument in favor of your case by gathering and closely examining the available evidence. Don't assume that the insurance company is going to be helpful just because you've been paying them money for so long - they are looking to keep the cost of the claim as low as possible.
Want to Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney About Your Case?
You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia personal injury claim. Board-certified attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia settle their injury and accident claims.
You can reach out to the BenGlassLaw team by calling the main office in Fairfax at (703)584-7277.
Additionally, if you would like to learn more about these kinds of claims, we have created a free resource about personal injury cases and how they operate. You can download it or request it by calling our office.