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Shapiro & Appleton

$2.5 Million Injury Lawsuit Denied over $2 Shortage in Filing Fee

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When a person is injured as a result of another party’s action, the injured party may be able to file a claim against the other party for damages. There are typically two different components to a personal injury claim. The first is whether or not the other party has liability for the victim’s injuries. This liability can be due to negligence or an intentional action. The second component is what damages the victim has suffered because of those injuries.

In order to file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia, there are strict criteria a claimant must follow under the law. This is why it is critical for a victim to consult with a personal injury attorney right away after being injured in an accident. The law is complicated and varied, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

When choosing a personal injury attorney, it is important to choose one who has vast experience and knowledge regarding personal injury claims and the law, especially when it comes to the statute of limitations and other requirements to file a lawsuit, otherwise a claim can be dismissed or denied.

This is what happened recently to one victim when the lawsuit he filed was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

In 2008, the victim, who worked with a Virginia high school band, was injured after falling from a podium. In 2010, the victim’s attorney filed a lawsuit, via mail, with the Powhatan Circuit Court. A clerk notified the attorney via telephone that the filing fee was $2 short for the $2.5 million lawsuit. At this point there were only six days before the statute of limitations expired for filing the suit. The law firm, instead of going to the courthouse directly to pay the $2, mailed a check to the court. However, that check was not received and processed until after the expiration date had passed.

The court dismissed the lawsuit because the statute had expired. Appeals all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court did not reverse that decision. Last month, the state’s highest court agreed and upheld the lower court’s decision.  

Our personal injury law firm has successfully represented many clients who have been injured because of another party’s negligence. Since our firm focuses entirely on personal injury cases, our dedicated Virginia attorneys are able to stay on top of any changes to the law or injury lawsuit requirements.

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