Can I be sued for an accident if both parties are considered at fault?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be sued for an accident if both parties are considered at fault?

Auto accident. Neither of us were given citations, but the other party is thirsty for money. One of the passengers in their car was hurt and is seeking damages. The daughter of the driver is angry about losing time from work to now transport her dad who has lost his car. She’s also mad that the payout from his insurance is so little. My insurance was canceled days before the wreck, unbeknownst to me, so nothing is being covered from my end. I’m afraid I might have to file bankruptcy because of this.

Asked on May 14, 2018 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Anyone may file a lawsuit: the court does not "pre-screen" or evaluate suits when they are filed to make sure they are valid.
Your state (VA) follows an old, harsh rule called "contributory negligence" which most states have abandoned. This works in your favor: under contributory negligence, if the person suing is at fault in any way, he/she cannot recover compensation. If you are sued, if you can show in court (e.g. by witness testimony, with police reports, etc.) that the person suing you was at fault, too, you should have a good defense to liability.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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