‘Negligence’ is an area of tort law that refers to harm caused to one individual due to the failure to act or carelessness of another. An individual that suffers loss, physical or financial, due to the negligence of another can sue for compensation from the person whose negligence caused them harm. Hence ‘negligence’ is a wide umbrella term that can cover a number of situations. From someone not doing their job to simply standing by when a person is in need of help, personal injury lawyers in Richmond and Virginia can help you with filing a negligence claim to get you the maximum amount of compensation.
Proving negligence can be a tricky thing without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is because proving negligence involves defining how a reasonable person should be in the situation. A lawyer is experienced in the process of proving negligence, and can thereby argue your case to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Virginia Negligence Laws
Law is not universal and varies from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When it comes to Virginia negligence laws, a term called ‘contributory negligence’ comes into play.
Contributory vs.Comparative Negligence
The Virginia negligence law of contributory negligence means that if the person claiming injury has in some way contributed to the situation that caused the injury, regardless of how small, they will not have a case. Contributory negligence is a strict rule that still exists within the Commonwealth.
Many states have adopted the more flexible fault law of ‘comparative negligence’. This refers to a partial legal defence under which the amount of compensation awarded to the plaintiff is adjusted based on the amount of involvement in the injury the plaintiff is found to have.
Virginia adheres to the pure contributory negligence law which states that the person guilty of negligence has to be 100-percent responsible or no compensation for damages will be awarded.
Under Virginia negligence laws, there is an exception to the comparative negligence law. known as the ‘common carrier exception’. Under the common carrier exception, people who have been injured while a passenger on a bus, plane, or any common carrier are eligible for compensation under a negligence claim against the carrier company as well as the individual carrier operator. If it is found that a safety code has been violated or not adhered to, the plaintiff’s comparative negligence will not interfere with the compensation owed by the common carriers. Compensation for a negligence claim against a common carrier company and operator would include any medical expenses, lost wages due to missed time from work, and any damages caused by physical or mental pain and suffering.
Not only do laws differ from state to state, state laws are constantly changing. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can help ensure you will get the maximum amount of compensation for your personal injury claim. As Virginia negligence laws are stricter than in many states due to the comparative negligence rule, proving negligence can be a more challenging process. Enlisting the help of a Virginia lawyer who is not only familiar with the challenges of proving negligence under the contributory negligence rule, but who is always up to date on any changing laws will help make your personal injury claim run as smoothly and painlessly as possible.