Home > FAQ, Laws > Contributory Negligence vs Comparative Negligence | Richmond, VA Car Accident Lawyer

Contributory Negligence vs Comparative Negligence | Richmond, VA Car Accident Lawyer

I was injured in a car accident. If I am at fault in any way, can I still file a personal injury claim?

This is a common question that people have about personal injury cases. Unfortunately, Virginia is one of the few states that still follows the Law of Contributory Negligence, which says that even if you are at fault 1%, you cannot recover any damages.

So if you were in a car accident and injured due to another person’s negligence, but the court discovers that you may have contributed even just a little to that accident, essentially you will get nothing.

There have been few cases where a jury will rule for the defendant based on contributory negligence, but it rarely happens. In theory, this 400-year-old Law of Contributory Negligence is still in effect, but most juries in Virginia usually disregard it and go with comparative negligence. Comparative negligence says that if, for example, the injured party (plaintiff) is at fault 10% and the party who is negligent is 90% at fault, then the plaintiff can recover 90% of the damages. The judge or jury will be the ones who determine the proportion of fault to be assigned to each party.

Have you been involved in a car accident in the Richmond, Virginia area? Even if you feel that you may be partially to blame, we highly recommend seeking the advice of an experienced Richmond, Virginia car accident lawyer who can help protect your legal rights. There is still a chance that you can be compensated for any injuries or damages.

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