The People’s Lawyer

What is comparative negligence?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Personal Injury Claims

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board, driver error causes over 90% of motor vehicle accidents nationwide. Drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians who are injured as a result of a driver’s negligence may be entitled to damages relating to their accident.

What is driver negligence?

Anyone who operates a vehicle in Virginia has a legal obligation to abide by all Virginia traffic laws. Violating any of these laws may be considered driver negligence. Many accidents are caused by one or more of the following types of driver negligence:

  • Driving unlicensed or on a suspended license.
  • Driving while impaired.
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light.
  • Driving at an excessive or unreasonable rate of speed.
  • Failing to signal.
  • Following too closely.

When an accident occurs, however, it is likely that more than one party was negligent. For example, in a two-vehicle collision at an intersection, one driver may have been negligent in failing to yield the right of way, while the other driver was negligent in driving at an excessive rate of speed.

What happens if your own negligence contributed to your accident?

If you were in an accident with another vehicle, there is a very good chance that the driver of that vehicle caused your accident. However, there is also a possibility that your own negligence also contributed to the accident.

Many states have comparative negligence laws that allow people to recover damages, even if they are partially responsible for their accident. However, under Virginia’s contributory negligence laws, you will not be able to recover damages for your accident if you were partially at fault for your accident. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate the evidence in your case and try to find a way to prove that another party was 100% responsible for your accident, so you can recover compensation.