What is Contributory Negligence?
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Assuming you can show that the other driver acted negligently, then the claims process looks at your driving behavior, i.e., did you do anything that contributed to the accident? If so, guess what? The claim is over. You are completely barred from recovering for your injuries.
This harsh rule is called contributory negligence and it means that if you are just 1% of the cause of the accident, then you get nothing! Virginia is one of only a few states that still use this extremely harsh rule, but if you are going to make an automobile accident personal injury claim, you had better get used to hearing this phrase. Insurance companies love to cite contributory negligence as a reason to deny claims and will use it at any and every opportunity.