Virginia is one of only a handful of states that applies contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, if you hurt in a car accident, you are barred from recovery if you contributed to the accident – at all. That means if the person that hit you is 99% at fault, but you are only 1% at fault, you lose.
If you’ve recently been in an accident, this is important because it may have a huge impact on your claim.
If you’ve not been in an accident, you still need to keep Virginia’s contributory negligence law in mind. The purpose of the law is to encourage safe driving. So for those of you that speed, text while driving, don’t always look both ways, or whatever the case may be, there may be more at risk than a simple traffic ticket. If you (or your family or friends) were to be hurt in an accident, your driving behavior will be seriously scrutinized to determine if you were 1% at fault.
So take heed. Get off the cell phones, take your foot off of the gas, and look both ways!
And for you podcast listeners, contributory negligence was recently discussed on The Kojo Nnamdi Show. Here’s the link.