Personal injury can result from auto accidents, motorcycle accidents and other accidents attributable to negligence of another party. Accidents are unpredictable despite our best efforts at being careful. To minimize the loss and costs associated with personal injury, you need to know the laws governing personal injury in Virginia if the injury happens there. In addition, you need to hire a Virginia personal injury lawyer to protect your interests as an injured property.
Virginia Personal Injury Laws
Personal injury laws differ from state to state. Here is an overview of the basic Virginia personal injury laws as they affect injured persons.
Statute of limitation. This places a limitation on the time frame for filing personal injury lawsuits. In Virginia, the law gives a deadline of 2 years from the time of the accident. Any lawsuit filed after this period can be thrown out of court on grounds of time-barred, with some exceptions.
Damage caps. Usually, there is no damage cap on injury cases in the state of Virginia. In essence, there is no limit to the amount of economic and non-economic damages you can get from a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia. However, like every rule, there is exception. Damages on medical malpractice have caps fixed on $2,000,000 while punitive damages are capped at $350,000.
Claims against the government. When a personal injury lawsuit is against government or its agencies in Virginia, the procedural rules differ. For starters, you must inform the government first before you can file a suit against it. This you can do personally or through your attorney by submitting a formal notice to the concerned government. This must be submitted within 6 months of the accident if the case is against a city or town. It must be sent within one year if you are filing against the the Commonwealth of Virginia or its transportation district.
Contributory negligence. Virginia unfortunately, still applies the harsh rule of shared fault. With the law of contributory negligence, if an injured person is found to share in the blame for the accident or the resulting injury irrespective of the degree of involvement, such victim has no case. This means that even if your contribution to the accident was as negligent as 2%, you cannot receive any compensation.
Common carrier. If you are a passenger on a common carrier like a bus, you can receive compensation based on negligence claim against the bus driver and bus company.
The one bite rule. The Virginia law stipulates that owners of dogs or other animals should be held responsible for injuries caused by their animals on other persons. This is obtainable if the injured party can prove that the owner should have known that the animal was dangerous.
You need to hire a personal injury attorney in Virginia if you or your loved one is injured by another party as a result of negligence. There are so many intricacies and loopholes involved that you could fail to protect your rights if you try to handle the matter without experienced legal guidance.