Virginia’s contributory negligence rule is one of the strictest in the U.S. when it comes to awarding injured victims compensation for their damages. Unlike other states where compensation is reduced by percentage of fault, Virginia law says that people with any degree of fault for their accident, even if it’s 1%, are ineligible for compensation.
That means that many injured drivers end up not being able to get settlements for crashes that weren’t their fault. This is often due to many oversight or traffic violations, such as:
- Headlight was burned out—When a crash occurs at night and the victim’s headlight was burned out, the insurance company may argue that the other driver couldn’t see them, even if they clearly caused the crash.
- Taillight was burned out—When a driver is rear-ended by another driver, they may be blamed for a small percentage of the crash if their taillight was burned out. That’s because police or the insurance company may rule that it made it more difficult for the other driver to see their vehicle.
- Distracted at an intersection—If a driver is hit in an intersection by another driver who ran a red light, they may be partially blamed for the crash if they were distracted at the time of the accident.
No one ever plans on getting into an accident, but because Virginia’s laws on getting compensation are so strict, it’s important to protect yourself in the event that someone crashes into you. That means regularly checking and replacing burned out bulbs, avoiding distractions, never speeding, and coming to a complete stop at stop signs.