Today, drivers are more distracted than ever. Talking on the phone, texting while driving, adjusting the radio, tailgating, or simply being in a hurry and not paying attention are just a few examples of driving hazards that lead to car accidents. In many car accidents, there is often a dispute as to who is at fault. It is a common misconception that those injured in a car accident do not need representation from an automotive accident attorney. Due to the intricacies that are a part of most accidents, it is actually very necessary, and representation can usually result in better compensation.
Virginia is one of five states that uses contributory negligence instead of comparative negligence. The majority of states use the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that when both the victim and the defendant contributed to an accident by failing to exercise a reasonable degree of care and caution, each party’s degree of liability is apportioned. Contributory negligence means that if the plaintiff is proven even 1% at fault, they may not receive any compensation for damages because they contributed to the harm they’ve suffered.
Last clear chance is a doctrine that is used in contributory negligence jurisdictions like Virginia. It allows some room for recovery by an accident victim. Under last clear chance, a negligent plaintiff can recover damages if he or she is able to prove that the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the accident. The general purpose of last clear chance is to mitigate the severity of the contributory negligence rule.
As the victim of a car accident, you are urged to seek representation from an automotive accident attorney. Otherwise, representatives from insurance companies may take advantage of you if you aren’t aware of Virginia’s stringent laws. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best route to understanding Virginia’s contributory negligence law, solving your accident case and receiving fair compensation.