Last updated 1 year ago
In many cases, the negligent actions of more than one person lead to a car accident. Although many states have comparative negligence laws in place to establish the degree to which each individual contributed to an accident and distribute reparations accordingly, Virginia and Washington, D.C. are two of the few areas that maintain contributory negligence laws. But how are the two different, and why is it important to receive assistance from an experienced auto accident attorney in Virginia?
Comparative Negligence vs. Contributory Negligence
When it comes to assessing liability in an auto accident, personal injury attorneys are responsible for collecting relevant evidence and building the case. Comparative negligence is typically described in percentages, and while comparative negligence typically allows victims to recover compensation according to their respective liability, contributory negligence does not award any reparations if the plaintiff contributed in any way to the accident.
Contributory Negligence in Court
Contributory negligence can be used as a viable defense in order to avoid paying the victims for their injuries. This means that a personal injury attorney may not only be responsible for proving the defendant’s negligence, but also for disproving the plaintiff’s liability. Skilled representation is essential because if a disparaging remark or misleading portrayal of events indicates even a marginal degree of negligence, the plaintiff will be receive no payment for their injuries. For example, a pedestrian that was hit by a car and badly injured will receive no compensation if the driver proves that they disobeyed a minor traffic law.
As the above example shows, finding reliable legal counsel after an auto accident is crucial for auto accident victims in Virginia. The Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers has been recognized as a leader in auto accident representation in Prince William County for the past six years. Don’t jeopardize your auto accident claim; contact us online or call (703) 330-6300 today to receive a professional consultation.
Last updated 1 year ago
A negligence per se defense simply requires an attorney to prove that a defendant performed negligent actions directly leading to a personal injury. This short video walkthrough describes the basic components of a negligence per se defense.
Building a negligence per se defense requires proof of four basic components: the defendant violated a statute, the statute was designed to protect a group of people, the plaintiff was part of the aforementioned group, and the plaintiff suffered injuries that the statute was intended to prevent. By establishing these four items, a personal injury attorney can establish negligence without regard to what a reasonable individual would do.
Establishing fault after an auto accident is crucial for protecting your rights and avoiding significant financial burdens. To get a professional consultation from an experienced auto accident attorney in Prince William County, contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers at (703) 330-6300 today.
Last updated 1 year ago
Establishing liability for an auto accident is arguably the most important part of building your personal injury claim, especially since Virginia is one of the few states that still has “contributory negligence” laws. However, simple word of mouth isn’t enough to establish fault in a court of law, even if the cause of the accident is seemingly apparent. Below are just a few of the legal issues that the Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers can assist you with.
Most auto accident claims are settled without going to trial, but a settlement still requires a burden of proof. From police records to medical bills, maintaining an active paper trail with an experienced lawyer is crucial for building a strong claim and avoiding unnecessary delays. Contacting the other party or their insurance company before finding legal counsel could seriously undermine your case.
Even if you were not at any fault for the auto accident, there are deadlines for acquiring medical care and filing the appropriate legal and insurance documents. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after an auto accident in Virginia is two years, but it is still important to receive timely and professional medical care.
Disproving Contributory Negligence
Unlike comparative negligence laws, which generally allow you to recover some compensation even if you were partially responsible for the accident, contributory negligence laws do not award any compensation if the plaintiff was even marginally at fault. Hiring an experienced auto accident lawyer will help you build an accident claim and avoid mistakenly assuming any liability.
These are just of the items that the Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers can help you with. We’ve provided citizens of northern Virginia with reliable auto accident resources and legal representation for more than 20 years, and we have been recognized as an award-winning auto accident lawyer in Manassas. Call (703) 330-6300 to arrange a professional consultation.
Last updated 1 year ago
A recent report from Allstate shows that aggressive drivers are an all-too-common driving hazard in the northern Virginia and D.C. areas. There is little you can do to constructively address an aggressive driver when you’re behind the wheel, and with enough provocation, the aggression can quickly become contagious. However, your health and your finances are more important than risking potential auto accident injuries. You can help keep your commute stress-free by remembering the following tips.
Aggressive Show Little Concern for Others’ Safety
It’s impossible to tell what incites an individual to aggressive driving habits at any given time, but one item is certain: aggressive drivers do not think clearly about your—or even their own—well-being. Behind the veil of anonymity, aggressive drivers may speed, tailgate, weave through traffic, make obscene gestures, and spout pejoratives for some perceived slight. It’s not hard to spot these poor road manners, but remember that it’s only a temporary nuisance.
Avoiding Confrontation is Top Priority
Confronting an aggressive driver will only waste your time at best, and at worst it will escalate into a potentially dangerous road hazard. Avoiding confrontation is sometimes easier said than done—for instance, if you’re stuck at a stop light next to an angry driver—but it can become less of an issue if you consider the safety of your family and your wallet, not to mention all of the stress-related health effects you’ll avoid. To maintain control of the situation, simply ignore their poor behavior and avoid reciprocation or eye contact.
Reporting Aggressive Drivers Keeps Everyone Safe
No matter how ill-tempered a driver is, they won’t have the means to outrun the authorities. Keep your cool and report their information such as car color, license plate number, location, and direction of travel if you are genuinely concerned about the safety of yourself and others.
Driving is a privilege and a responsibility, and you are entitled to compensation if someone else negligently causes an auto accident. To build a solid auto accident claim in northern Virginia, contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers at (703) 330-6300 today.
Last updated 1 year ago
Most people consider winter freezes and major end-of-the-year holidays to be the most dangerous time of year for auto accidents, but statistically, most collisions happen during the three months of summer. Vacation trips and Independence Day—historically the most dangerous holiday of the year—create hazardous road conditions throughout the summer. You don’t have to hide the keys to keep your family safe this summer, but it is worthwhile to brush up on some road safety essentials.
Preparing for the Worst
You won’t have to worry about snow and ice, but last year’s major derecho demonstrates just how bad Virginia storms can get in the summer. Most new cars come with electronic traction control systems to provide optimal handling in wet weather, but if your car doesn’t have one, make sure you know how to handle skids and puddles. Maintaining your wheels will also help you maintain control during emergency maneuvers, so pay attention to the alignment, inflation, and tread wear of your tires.
It’s tempting to let clutter pile up inside the car, but flying objects are a major hazard in auto collisions. Even something as small as a water bottle or canned food become a deadly projectile—at just 55 mph, a 20-pound object can strike with more than 1,000 pounds of force. A stray water bottle rolling around on the floor can also wedge under the brake pedal.
Protecting Younger Children
It is crucial to ensure that a child uses an appropriate child/booster seat until they are 8 to 12 years old and at least 4’9”. The safest place for a child is in the back seat. Be sure to read the installation instructions thoroughly; the NHTSA estimates that three out of four car seats are improperly installed.
While you can take steps to prevent the likelihood of an auto accident, you can’t entirely eliminate the possibility. If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to another driver’s negligence, contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers at (703) 330-6300 to schedule a professional and confidential consultation.