If you were partly to blame for your truck collision, it can have very negative consequences on the value of your claim for compensation for your injuries. This is because Virginia, unlike most other states, follows the contributory negligence doctrine.
How Contributory Negligence Could Affect Your Truck Crash Claim
Virginia follows a very harsh rule when the victim is partially at fault in causing a truck collision. Under the contributory negligence law, a person who is at all negligent in causing an accident is barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries. This is true whether he was 1, 50, or 99 percent to blame.
Don’t Trust the Insurance Company If They Claim You Were at Fault
Not surprisingly, insurance companies love to raise a victim’s partial fault as a reason to deny his claim. However, just because the adjuster uses this insurance tactic does not make it a valid one.
How Can You Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident in Norfolk?
You should take steps to protect your right to compensation even if you think you may have been partially to blame for your truck crash. Here are important ways to do that:
- Don’t admit fault. You should not make any statements admitting or implying that you were to blame. It is best not to talk to the insurance company at all on your own.
- Collect evidence. Collect evidence at the accident scene that can help you prove that you were an innocent victim—which could very well be true. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, crash scene, weather conditions, and anything else that might help show how your crash occurred. You also want to get the contact information for any witnesses who can corroborate the trucker’s fault in your wreck.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. Do not agree to give a recorded statement, which is a recorded question and answer session with the insurance adjuster. You may unintentionally say something that you did not intend that the insurance company can use against you.
- Contact an attorney. Retain an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. He can help you prove you were not at fault, handle all communications with the insurance company, and negotiate your settlement so that you receive what you deserve.
Do you have questions about your options after a truck crash? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to get answers and the quality representation that you need.