How Is Liability Determined in a Motor Vehicle Crash?

Car Accident Lawyer

When it comes to determining liability if you’ve been in a crash, liability is typically determining who is at fault for the crash and therefore the injuries that have ensued. And in Virginia it is important that you are able to figure out who is liable for the car crash, especially in cases where it is not so clear-cut. This is because Virginia is one of few states that allow for people to be held at fault as victims in an accident case. 

This means that if the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident they will not receive damages. It does not matter how at fault they are determined to be. If you’ve been in a car accident you speak to a car accident lawyer, such as the ones available and Martin Wren PC

Comparative negligence, which is a law that many states follow, means that the total damage award is going to be reduced based on the percentage of fault given to the plaintiff. So an example of this is a jury awards $500,000 in damages but they have also found a 30% fall for the accident on the plaintiff, their damages would be lowered by 30% of the total and that is what they were to receive.

But Virginia follows the law of contributory negligence and not comparative negligence. This means that if a plaintiff is found at fault in any way for the accident even if it is just 1% of the accident, they will not be able to receive damages in any case. This means that it is more difficult for people to file and get financial compensation for car accidents. However it is not possible in a car accident lawyer in Richmond VA can help with this.

Therefore you need to work with a car accident lawyer who is going to bite the insurance company and ensure that no blame is shifted under their plaintiff and client. If the insurance company is able to make an argument for the plaintiff being any way at fault for the accident, there is going to be a much longer case and potentially damages will not be able to be recovered.

Virginia’s rule, contributory negligence rule that is, as from Baskett v Banks, a Virginia case in 1947. This case was about a pair of assaults, in the case states “that no person is entitled to recover from another for damages which has been occasioned by his own act or his own neglect.” 

Furthermore in 1992, and Ravenswood Towers Inc. versus Woodyard the court gave a ruling that the jury should’ve been able to decide whether the 88-year-old woman with poor eyesight was negligent because she could not see that the elevator was not aligned with the floor. When this woman fell she sued to recover damages for personal injuries, and the court declared that the elevator was open and obvious danger in the jury should’ve been allowed to decide that the woman was negligent.

In this and other cases similar to this the Virginia Supreme Court believe that reasonable minds could differ on whether a dangerous condition or defect is open and obvious; which means that they want the jury to have a say.

December 15th, 2021|Uncategorized|