I was recently rear-ended in Virginia Beach, Virginia by a truck that was tailgating my car. If you get hit from behind doesnt that mean the guy who did it is automatically supposed to pay? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The law in Virginia written in the Virginia Model Jury Instructions book states, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway at the time.”

The jury instructions are the law as would be given by a Virginia judge to a jury in a Virginia personal injury lawsuit. All drivers must know they are not allowed to follow another motor vehicle more closely than a reasonable distance. If the driver was tailgating and following too closely, the accident is their fault. Usually unless there is some good excuse, the driver who runs into the back of your car is legally responsible.