Bicyclists are extremely vulnerable on Virginia’s roadways. When they get hit by vehicles, they often suffer debilitating injuries. But because Virginia is a contributory negligence state, some bicyclists are unable to pursue compensation claims because they’re ruled to be partially at fault for their accidents.
Contributory negligence states rule that people who are even one percent at fault for their injuries and accidents can’t get compensation for them. Most states have comparative negligence statutes, which allow people to get compensation provided they aren’t more than 50% at fault.
Because Virginia is a contributory negligence state, it’s common for at-fault drivers and their insurers to claim others had at least a small degree of fault—including bicyclists. And because many bicyclists are seriously injured after accidents, they often aren’t in a position to defend themselves or prove otherwise, which means they’re forever locked out of getting compensation.
At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we know how unfair this system can be to people who are wrongly blamed for accidents that weren’t their fault. Bicyclists may be blamed for failing to signal, speeding, failing to come to a complete stop, or turning into the path of a vehicle. And unfortunately, many police officers and insurance companies have negative views of bicyclists and assume they’re reckless and caused their own accidents.