Following a major accident involving several vehicles and a fast-moving, chaotic collision, it can often be challenging for the parties involved to properly discern who is at fault for the accident and how that responsibility should be apportioned. Different parties may have varying accounts of how the accident took place, and this can often become messy when the stories disagree with one another and do not match. Apportioning fault among the parties, however, is a crucial element of a personal injury claim, and it is important to understand how Virginia’s fault rules may affect the success of your lawsuit.
According to a recent local news report, two tractor-trailers and a sedan were involved in a fatal car accident in Sussex County. Local authorities reported that a Nissan was driving southbound on I-95 when the driver collided with a tractor-trailer. The Nissan remained in the lane and then a second tractor-trailer crashed into it, which caused the Nissan to veer off onto the right shoulder of the road. The second tractor-trailer then swung into the median and jackknifed into the northbound lanes and leaked 100 gallons of diesel fuel. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the first tractor-trailer was not injured, and the driver and passenger of the second trailer had only minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation by Virginia crash reconstruction teams.
Every state has its own unique laws when it comes to apportioning fault in an accident and how that fault impacts a party’s ability to recover. In Virginia, the rules are particularly strict, and some would argue that they are not particularly friendly toward plaintiffs because the circumstances of the crash may bar many potential plaintiffs from recovering anything at all.
In Virginia, the state follows a contributory negligence legal framework when it comes to assigning responsibility between the parties. Under the contributory negligence rule, if a driver is found to have contributed at all to causing the accident, they will be barred entirely from recovering compensation. This rule is particularly strict because even a driver who is found to be one percent at fault for the accident will be unable to collect damages against the driver or their insurance company.
Although this rule may appear disheartening, many car accidents have murky facts and circumstances that caused them to take place. In some cases, another party may try to argue out of the blue and to your surprise that you were actually responsible for contributing to the accident so that they do not have to pay for the damage that they actually caused. In these instances, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you strategize your next steps to maximize your success in your personal injury claim and get yourself the compensation you deserve.
Do You Need a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you or someone you love was recently involved in a Virginia truck accident, contact the attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm today. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing all kinds of personal injury victims and will work to get you the damages you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 240-833-3914.