What are the Shared Fault Rules of Neligence in Virginia?

Virginia has a shared fault rule that is relatively harsh on the claimant when compared to other states in the USA. This is one of the few states that retain the law of Contributory Negligence. What it means is that the person that is injured shares some level of blame for the incident in which they were hurt. Most states have instead opted for the comparative negligence framework which allows the court to adjust the damages bearing in mind the percentage of fault that lies with the claimant.

In Virginia there is no such sliding scale of adjustment. No matter how small your fault is as a claimant, the entire lawsuit is dismissed and you get no compensation. In other words you must be totally blameless in order to make an effective claim. Your attorney can advise you on whether you are liable to be denied compensation under these somewhat harsh rules in Virginia. This advice should be based on the circumstances of your case.

Justin P. Katz
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Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC