Contributory negligence is a defense that is asserted by someone who is accused of causing another injury. It simply means that the party who caused the accident is now accusing the party who is injured of being partially at fault for the accident. This is a favored defense of insurance companies. I know, I used to work for insurance companies and used to handle many cases and defend many cases based on this defense. In Virginia, if a court deems you to be, as an injured party, 1% at fault for an accident, then you are barred from any recovery. Meaning that you cannot receive any money for your injuries.