Contributory negligence in Virginia is a major part of any personal injury claim. To gain a better understanding of this area of tort law, you must first have a basic understanding of negligence in regard to personal injury accidents. For more information, please contact The Strong Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia | What is It?
Negligence refers to carelessness or acting without the discretion that a reasonable person would usually take. For example, if the driver of a car blows through a stop sign and crashes into a bicyclist crossing the street, then they would be found to be negligent for the accident.
Virginia is one of only four U.S. states to use the doctrine of contributory negligence as a complete bar to any recovery from your injury claim. This means that if you are found to be partially at-fault for an accident, then you are not eligible to recover any sort of compensation, no matter how serious your damages may be. If a jury finds you to be 1% responsible for an accident — for instance, you were going five miles over the speed limit when a semi-truck coming the opposite way abruptly swerves into you for a head-on collision — you are ineligible to receive any sort of medical or financial benefits.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia | Bicycle Accident Example
Occasionally, I’m asked, “If I’m partially at fault as a bicycle operator in a collision, do I still have a valid cause of action for injuries from that collision?” The simple answer in Virginia is, no. The reason is because Virginia is one of only four states in the United States that has the doctrine of contributory negligence as a complete bar to any recovery from your injury claim. In those cases where you’re partly at fault, there is no basis for recovering under Virginia law.
For more information about contributory negligence in Virginia, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.