Virginia uses contributory negligence in determining liability in Charlottesville car accidents. Under contributory negligence, an injured party who was hurt in a car accident in Charlottesville must prove that the other driver was negligent to recover any financial compensation.
Negligence is simply the failure to use ordinary care. However, under contributory negligence doctrine, the defendant has a chance to demonstrate that the plaintiff was partially to blame for the accident. If the defense can show or convince a jury or a judge that the injured party was not following the traffic signs or was on their phone, or negligent in some manner and that negligence caused the accident, they may be completely barred from recovering damages.
Contributory negligence is a harsh law in some ways because even if a jury or judge determines a plaintiff is as little as five percent at fault, they are barred from making a recovery for their injuries. One part of contributory negligence that is beneficial to injured parties in Charlottesville is something called joint and several liability. This means that if two vehicles were at fault for an accident, each of them is responsible for the full amount that is owed to the injured party. Working with The Warren Firm could help plaintiffs get the compensation they deserve by helping to assign liability in Charlottesville auto wrecks.
The most important elements for proving liability are statements from each of the driver involved. Usually, the statements given at the scene are fairly accurate because the accident has just happened and parties are not generally thinking about lawsuits or how to protect themselves. They are just telling the police officer what just occurred. One of the most important parts is what each of the drivers who are involved in the accident say.
Witnesses that are passengers in the vehicles are important as they also have invaluable firsthand memory of the event. However, the passengers in a vehicle are often biases as they have some sort of relationship to the driver in many cases.
The other types of witnesses, and often the most valuable, are uninterested witnesses. These witnesses may be someone in a third vehicle that was not involved in the accident, but saw the crash happen. These witnesses typically do not know either of the other drivers, so they are generally able to provide a very factual account of what happened. Sometimes, these uninterested witnesses are pedestrians walking somewhere when they see the wreck, but oftentimes, they are in other vehicles. The difficult part about uninterested witnesses is their information is often not gathered at the scene.
From the very beginning of your case, through litigation and settlement, having a dedicated car crash attorney at your side could help you get the best possible outcome. Determining liability in Charlottesville car accidents is difficult, but by working with the experienced lawyers at The Warren Firm, you may be able to collect the right evidence to collect the compensation you deserve. Call today to get started.