The unfortunate truth about motorcycle riding is that crashes can have a much greater impact on a motorcycle rider than on the driver of a car or truck. A motorcycle’s decreased level of protection means that their riders often suffer horrific injuries that result in costly medical bills, missed days of work and property damage when in an accident with another vehicle.
If this has happened to you, you may want to know what your options are. It’s important to understand how Virginia’s contributory negligence law will come into play during your lawsuit.
What does contributory negligence mean?
When you bring your lawsuit against the other driver for your injuries, the court will essentially examine each party’s arguments and evidence in an attempt to determine what proportion of fault each party has for the accident. This will determine whether you are able to recover compensation for your injuries or not.
Under Virginia’s contributory negligence law, the other party must be 100% at fault in order for you to be able to receive compensation. If the court determines that you are even a little bit at fault for your own injury, you cannot recover at all.
Virginia’s law is much stricter than most other states in this respect, because in most other states you would be able to recover a portion of your requested compensation equivalent to the other driver’s level of fault.
Does this mean that I should not bring a lawsuit?
Not necessarily. Your ability to recover compensation will depend entirely upon your attorney’s ability to prove that the other driver was at fault. Thus, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney in order to evaluate your case and see if you stand a good chance of winning. Through the use of expert witnesses – such as accident reconstruction experts – it’s sometimes possible to win even the toughest of cases.
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating and freeing experience, but it comes with its fair share of danger as well. If you suffer a serious accident due to the negligence of the driver of another vehicle, you shouldn’t hesitate to try to recover what you are entitled to in order to cover the costs that the accident has created for you.