If you have been wronged by someone in Virginia, and have sustained a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to seek compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Negligence is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Virginia. Put simply, negligence is a failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and as a result causing harm to someone.
As an example, if someone is driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit and causes you to get into an accident that harms you or a family member (either their body or their property), then they have committed negligence and will be obligated to compensate the you for the harm that they caused. This is a noticeable example. There is an infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.