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Important Laws in Virginia That Impact Car Accident Injury Claims

Although car accidents and injuries stemming from car accidents can take place in any state, there are laws in Virginia that may impact how you need to file an injury case. For this reason, it is likely in your best interest to consult with a Virginia car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is as successful as possible. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

Laws Unique to Virginia

Virginia has some unique laws that force people to handle these cases differently than some other jurisdictions. The biggest one is contributory negligence, which is something that most jurisdictions don’t have but Virginia does. What contributory negligence is, is essentially an affirmative defense that the defendant can raise basically saying that if you as a plaintiff caused or contributed in any way to the accident or your injuries then you’re barred from recovery.

Therefore, if a judge or jury finds that you’re even 1% responsible that’s going to be a bar to recovery, which is something that the defendant has to plead and prove, and is an extremely tough hurdle to overcome. Whereas a lot of states have comparative negligence and if you’re 10% at fault but the other driver is 90% at fault your recovery would just be reduced by that 10%. That’s the straight comparative negligence.

There’s also the modified comparative negligence regime that would apply in some other states. That makes it different in that a case that might be really good in another state isn’t going to be as strong in Virginia, DC or Maryland.

How Many Other Jurisdictions Have Contributory Negligence Laws

There are about three jurisdictions that have contributory negligence so it’s something that’s extremely tough for a lot of plaintiffs. That’s probably the most unique thing is just that you’ve got to always keep that doctrine in mind. Another unique thing is that you’ve got to move more quickly in Virginia than you do in D.C. or Maryland because the statue of limitation is only two years for negligence claims, as opposed to three years in Maryland and D.C.

Important Things Everyone Should Know About Virginia Cases

The two biggest things are the statute of limitations and contributory negligence. Knowing about those is going to save you a lot of headaches later down the road. And then some of the other things that are important to know about car accident cases anywhere, but particularly in Virginia, is that juries in Virginia are pretty conservative and want to see you receive treatment for your injuries and get on with your life. Juries will punish plaintiffs whom they believe to be disingenuous or looking for a big payday. You need to make sure to hit these points:

  • Mitigating your damages,
  • Following your doctor’s orders
  • Seeking treatment quickly

People need to know that those are important things to do. The other thing that everybody needs to know is that you do not have an obligation to make a statement to the other party’s insurance company. They might tell you that you need to give a statement or that it would really help you but its not going to help. You have no obligation to do so.