On Christmas Eve, a man was hit by a car when he crossed Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. Kenneth Robert Allen, 53 years old, was hospitalized with life threatening injuries, but died from his injuries five days later. Our condolences go out to hisloved ones who are suffering from their loss.
Virginia Beach police responded to the call just before 9:30 p.m. that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle in the 3200 block of Shore Drive. Officers said the man was not on a cross-walk.
You might ask what justice his loved ones may seek against the driver who hit the man on Christmas Eve. Because this man was not using a cross-walk when crossing the street, the doctrine of contributory negligence might affect his estate's ability to receive compensation from the driver.
Contributory negligence prevents a victim from seeking recovery through a personal injury claim if it is determined that the victim contributed, even only slightly, to the accident that caused their injury. Because this man did not use a crosswalk while traversing the street, the driver's insurance company might claim he contributed to the accident and should thus be barred from recovering much of or any compensation for his life-threatening injuries.
Most states have progressed from this harsh doctrine, but defendants in Virginia and North Carolina can still use it as a valid defense. Sometimes, insurance companies will try to invoke the defense of contributory negligence as a business tactic to reduce settlement claims.
However, if you or a loved one suffers serious personal injury under similar conditions, the only way to truly know if you have a claim is by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. Equipped with a thorough knowledge of Virginia law, our firm has successfully provided clients with just settlementsdespite the doctrine of contributory negligence.