In a recent article on why insurance companies love Virginia's contributory negligence law, we wanted to share with you what the rule means and why it tilts the scale in favor of the insurance companies.

The question of how you deal with this rule is still open. Let's discuss this now.

You need to prove that the defendant is 100 percent at fault or you won't be able to receive any compensation. This can be a real challenge in some cases. More than ever, your case rests on hard evidence, such as:

  • The police report of the accident;
  • Witness statements;
  • On-the-scene investigation and pictures;
  • Medical reports;
  • Collection of information on the defendant: cell phone use while driving, intoxication, speed, traffic violations, etc.

You will have to be very careful not to sign any forms or agree to anything that could be held against you afterwards. Do not apologize about anything, even when you think you could have avoided the crash or if you are distressed by the other party's injuries. Do not make any statement to the insurance adjuster, even on the phone.

Considering what is at stake, namely that you could end up without any compensation if you are found to have made even a small contribution to the crash, you should have a free discussion of your case with an experienced Virginia auto accident attorney.

If you have been hurt in a Virginia car or truck crash, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. You can discuss your case with one of our skilled, dedicated attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.

Andrew Thomas
Connect with me
Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Join The Conversation
michelle santoro 07/14/2012 10:33 PM
My mother and father were heading down to Florida and stopped over in Emporia Virginia. My father walked across the street to grab a soda in a convenience store. On his way back to his hotel a woman hit him in her car. It was 430 in the afternoon, a bright sunny day and on a straight road no bigger than 50 feet wide. My father sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma and in a hospital and rehab for 5 months. He just returned home two days ago. He may not ever walk again and his brain injury is so severe that my mom has a live in caretaker probably for the rest of his life. Thanks to contributory negligence, my father will not receive any compensation because my father did not cross the street in a cross walk. So, the driver walks away scott free and my dad will never be the same person he once was. I guess if you want to severely injury someone and take away their quality of life, tell them to meet you in Virginia and mow them down in your car as they cross the road. You won't have to be held accountable.
Post A Reply
Andrew Thomas 07/14/2012 11:01 PM
So sorry to hear of your father's injury. You're correct that Virginia is one of the few states which still has contributory negligence as a defense. It's a tough law and can lead to harsh results. However, every case is fact specific. Have you discussed the case with counsel in the Emporia area?
Post A Reply
Post A Comment

Free Case Evaluation

Fill out this form, and our attorneys will get back to you immediately to discuss your case.



Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
I'm grateful for all your work . . . Roger V. (Remington, VA)
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with Best Lawyers
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with MDAF
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with Northern Virginia Magazine Top Lawyers
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with SuperLawyers
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with Martindale-Hubbell
Logo Recognizing Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas's affiliation with AVVO