Personal injury laws in Virginia are both broad and complex. If you were hurt in a Virginia personal injury accident through no fault of your own, there are a few things about personal injury claims you will benefit from understanding.
What are the most important things to know about Virginia personal injury law?
If you sustained injuries due to another person’s negligence, hazardous property conditions, a dangerous drug, or a defective product, then the law makes it possible for you to recover damages from the at-fault party.
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we can help you understand and protect your rights. Our skilled Virginia personal injury lawyers have decades of experience successfully handling personal injury cases and ensuring every single one of our clients understands how the law applies to their case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is any injury one individual or entity causes another, as long as that injury was the result of reckless, negligent, willful behavior, or strict liability (liability imposed with no regard to fault). The majority of personal injuries stem from negligence and are classified based on how the victim was injured. Examples include car accidents, premises liability accidents, medical malpractice, and defective product accidents.
Personal injury cases involve physical and mental harm. Damages typically include, among other things, medical bills, lost wages, long-term disability, and pain and suffering. State law allows financial compensation for damages caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent conduct only if they are found liable for the accident.
How Important is Determining Liability?
In personal injury cases, liability is king. In order for your case to prevail, you have to show that the defendant caused you deliberate harm without justification or failed to act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances.
Additionally, in Virginia, you cannot contribute to your accident in any way, shape, or form. Unlike almost every other state where victims can still collect compensation even if they share in liability, Virginia follows the rather unforgiving doctrine of contributory negligence. This doctrine bars the plaintiff from financial recovery if even the tiniest bit of fault is attributed to them.
In some instances, proving liability is exceptionally challenging. Insurance companies work hard to shift as much fault as they can onto the victim to keep their payouts as small as possible. A reputable law firm will have experience handling cases similar to yours and know how to effectively conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Injured?
If you have been injured in any type of accident, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Then, you should find a Virginia attorney who specializes in personal injury claims. It is vital to your claim that you do not make any statements to anyone without appropriate legal representation in place. If you are able, start documenting your accident by taking pictures and writing down what happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
How Long Do I Have to File a Virginia Personal Injury Claim?
For most personal injury claims, the Virginia statute of limitations is two years. Barring a few very narrow exceptions, if your claim is not filed before the second anniversary of your accident, your case will be thrown out and you will be ineligible to pursue compensation.
Why is the Insurance Company in Such a Hurry to Settle?
The insurance company is deliberately offering you a settlement before you find out the full extent of your damages. Once you accept their offer, you will not be able to hold them liable for any additional damages that were not known to you at the time. An experienced Virginia attorney will make sure that settlement negotiations do not begin until you have fully recovered or reached maximum medical improvement in order to account for all current and future damages.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
When you work with the Virginia personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, you work with attorneys who will guide you through every step of the legal process. We will conduct our own investigation into your accident, meet all case-related deadlines, enlist the aid of expert witnesses, and fight for maximum financial compensation through settlement or in court. We have a well-established track record as one of the state’s most respected personal injury firms. Call us at (833) 997-1774 and schedule your free consultation today.