What if I was Partly at Fault for the Accident?

Rutter Mills Law Firm

What if I was Partly at Fault for the Accident?

Car Accident Info

Virginia law is relatively harsh when it comes to an accident victim’s fault. If their negligence contributed to the accident and that contributory negligence was a proximate cause of the accident, they may be barred from any recovery.  However, negligence is not always clear-cut, and there are often issues with causation as well as defenses to contributory negligence so it is a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Virginia follows the law of contributory negligence

It is crucial to keep in mind that the defendant has the burden of proving your contributory negligence. In other words, there is a presumption that you were not negligent unless the defendant can prove that you were.

Contributory negligence can arise in many ways. It may mean the plaintiff did not watch out for their safety or was acting carelessly.

Who determines contributory negligence?

Ultimately, a jury or a judge determines each party’s degree of fault for an accident. However, most personal injury cases do not end up before a jury. It is, therefore, essential that you and your personal injury lawyer build the strongest case possible. This is so you can persuade the insurance adjuster or defense counsel that a jury or judge would find in your favor.

The defendant or insurance company may argue that your negligence is a foregone conclusion. Even when it is true, it is not always the end of the story. For example, in one Virginia case, a teenage plaintiff was struck by a car while riding a bicycle to school. It was in low light conditions, and he didn’t have a front lamp that was required by law.

The defendant’s lawyer argued that the plaintiff’s negligence barred his right to sue. However, the judge found that where reasonable minds could disagree as to whether the teen’s riding without a lamp was a contributing cause of the accident, his negligence was an issue for the jury.

Also, Virginia has a doctrine called “last clear chance” that may apply and allow a helpless or inattentive injured person to still recover even if that person was negligent.

The take-away here is that you should always discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney who can offer a personalized analysis of your accident.

Contact us for a free consultation

Sometimes the outcome of your personal injury case comes down to who can make the most persuasive legal argument. If there is a chance you might bear some of the blame for your accident, talk to an attorney with experience in complex cases. Our lawyers at Rutter Mills have proudly served the residents of Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and the surrounding areas. Consultations are always free and confidential.

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

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Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

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On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

Larena's Win

After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

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After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

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After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

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When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

When I called Rutter Mills, I knew it was the right fit. They’re so interested in helping you get justice.

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Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

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A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

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They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

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