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The Rohrstaff Law Firm

The Rohrstaff Law Firm

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I was in the back seat when our car was hit from behind. But the driver of the car i was in was talking to the front seat passenger. Who is at fault for my injury?


When more than one person is negligent (careless) and causes an injury, both are responsible for your injuries -- as long as you were not careless in any way.

Virginia has a legal concept called " joint and several liability" -- a fancy way of saying that if more than one person was negligent and they together caused your injury, you can hold them both responsible.

Virginia also has a legal concept called "contributory negligence" which  means that if YOU were negligent in any way that contributed to cause your injury, you lose, regardless of the negligence of the others. In your question about being a back seat passenger, if you had distracted the driver and that distraction was a cause of the crash and your injury, you lose. Virginia requires 100% perfection on the part of the injured party, sometimes called a "total bar to recovery."

Most other states have what is called "comparable negligence." If that were the law in your question, your negligence in distracting the driver would be compared to the driver's negligence and, to win, you would have to be lelss than 50% negligent.

If you have other questions, you may want to fill out theh CONTACT US form on the right to get in touch with us. Or, you may call us at 703-260-6070. Another way to reach us is by email to [email protected]. We answer questions.

Sandra Rohrstaff
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Virginia Child Injury and Elder Abuse Attorney