Virginia law imposes a duty on drivers to operate their vehicles with sufficient care. If they fail to do so, and their negligence injures someone, then the driver must pay compensation to the victims. Passing someone on the right can sometimes constitute negligence, but you will need to analyze the circumstances.
Why People Pass on the Right
Frequently, people pass because they are in a hurry and cannot pass on the left because traffic is approaching in the other lane. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to pass legally, the person pulls onto the road’s shoulder and passes on the right.
Passing on the shoulder is rife with problems. If the shoulder is soft (that is, dirt or mud), then the wheels can lose traction, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is easy in this situation for the car to yank back into the lane and ram into you. Some drivers also do not pull onto the shoulder far enough to pass and end up clipping you.
However, the law sometimes allows passing on the right. For example, your lane might split in two, with the left-hand portion reserved for those making a left-hand turn onto another road. In this situation, the road is designed for someone to scoot past you in the right-hand lane. Nevertheless, the person passing should not hit you, and if they do then they might have driven in a negligent fashion.
Did Your Own Negligence Contribute to the Crash?
Sometimes, the defendant or defendant’s insurance company will try to blame you in part for the accident. An experienced attorney, however, knows how to fight these counterclaims.
For example, your carelessness must have actually contributed to the crash. You may have driven five miles more than the speed limit, but if that did not contribute to the collision, then Virginia law will not bar you from bringing a lawsuit.
Meet With Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Virginia
Virginia’s roads continue to pose dangerous situations for drivers. According to state statistics, at least 127,000 collisions occurred in 2017 alone, causing more than 65,000 injuries.
If you were involved in a crash, meet with an attorney as soon as possible to analyze whether you can bring a lawsuit to hold another driver responsible.
At Emroch & Kilduff, our car accident lawyers have built their reputations by aggressively seeking compensation for our clients. To schedule a consultation, please call (804) 358-1568. Initial consultations are free.