In most car accident cases, the focus is on imposing liability. The plaintiff diligently works to gather and present evidence that shows that the other party was negligent, which may include testimony regarding erratic driving, police reports, and even an accident reconstruction. While all of that is certainly necessary if you hope to succeed on a personal injury claim, the truth of the matter is that a successful lawsuit doesn’t just hinge on your ability to play offense. It also relies heavily on your ability to play defense.
Virginia’s contributory negligence law
Virginia recognizes contributory negligence. This means that only a party who is without fault can recover compensation in a personal injury case. Therefore, in most instances those who are found to be at even a miniscule amount of fault will be barred from recovering compensation. This differs drastically from the comparative negligence system recognized by other states, which allows for the recovery of compensation in accordance with the plaintiff’s allocation of fault.
What does this mean for you?
You need to be aware that contributory negligence is likely going to be an issue in your case. After all, showing that you’re partially at fault is probably the easiest way for the defense to avoid liability. So, you’ll want to anticipate the arguments that will be raised by the defense and be prepared to rebut them. This might require additional witness testimony, or it could necessitate an expert’s testimony, such as an individual who is skilled in accident reconstruction.
Take a holistic approach to your legal claim
In order to maximize your chances of success on a legal claim, you need to make sure that every aspect of your case is carefully analyzed and appropriately addressed. This means that you need to know the law and how to apply it to your set of facts. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process on your own. Instead, you can work closely with a skilled law firm like ours to build the case that you need to maximize your chances of success.