I commute everyday from Norfolk to my work and I often see disabled vehicles stopped on the highway. If the disabled vehicle was to cause an accident, would it be that driver's fault? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The law in Virginia, written in the Virginia Model Jury Instructions book states, “A driver whose vehicle is stopped on a roadway because he was involved in an emergency, an accident, or a mechanical breakdown must turn on the emergency flashing lights of his vehicle, if they can be operated, and remove his vehicle from the roadway to the shoulder as soon as possible.”


The jury instructions are the law as would be given by a Virginia judge to a jury in a Virginia personal injury lawsuit.  The vehicle must have some sort of indicator to other vehicles on the road that it is stopped, such as hazard lights if operational, and the owner must remove their vehicle from the roadway to the shoulder lane if possible. As long as they perform these duties they will likely not be considered negligent drivers.