Virginia Negligence Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

The term "negligence" refers to the failure to exercise the proper degree of care expected by a reasonable person in a given situation. For example, a bus driver is expected to be sober during his or her shift. Any injuries to passengers resulting from a drunk driving accident can be blamed on the driver's negligence.

What Are Virginia's Negligence Laws?

Proving negligence involves defining what a reasonable person would or would not do in a situation, which can be rather difficult without the help of a personal injury attorney to argue your case.

Contributory Negligence

Under Virginia negligence laws, if an injured person is found to have contributed to the accident or injury in some way, Virginia negligence laws say you don't have a case. It's a very harsh rule that still applies in the Commonwealth. Some states follow a more enlightened version of the fault law called "comparative negligence." Alas, Virginia still chooses what is known as the "pure contributory negligence rule." That means the other person has to be 100 percent at fault or you can't collect any money damages.

Common Carrier Exception

If you've been injured as a passenger on a bus or other common carrier, you may be entitled to bring a negligence claim against both the bus company and the bus driver to recover compensation for your injuries. Comparative negligence by the plaintiff won't bar recovery from common carriers (such as buses and airplanes) if a safety code was violated. This may include, but is not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

Learn more about Virginia negligence laws below. See Negligence: Background for more information.

Code Section 8.01-58 (Contributory negligence is no bar to recovery in certain employee-railroad disputes.)
Comparative Negligence In an action against a common carrier, comparative negligence will not bar recovery and if carrier violated a safety code, the injured party won't be found comparatively negligent (8.01-58)
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery -
Contribution Among Tortfeasors 8.01-34; Contributory negligence may be applied when the wrong results from negligence and involves no moral turpitude
Uniform Act No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- cpntact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Virginia Negligence Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Your Negligence Case in Virginia

If you've been harmed in Virginia and you feel you should be compensated, you'll need an attorney who understands Virginia's pure contributory negligence rules and other Virginia tort laws. To learn more about your rights under Virginia negligence laws, it's a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney in Virginia today.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.