Under Virginia law, when a person is injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, the victim is entitled to pursue an injury claim or lawsuit against that party to recover damages that result from those injuries. Some of those losses include medical bills, loss of income while the victim recovers, pain and suffering, scarring, and more.
However, one important factor that victims should keep in mind is that the law also has placed a limit a time on how long they have to file that claim. Just as prosecutors have a statute of limitations for how long they have to file charges in the criminal court system against a person who has allegedly committed a criminal act, victims also have a statute of limitations on how long they have to file a claim in the civil court against the party who allegedly caused their injuries.
Statute of Limitations in Virginia
In Virginia, a victim has two years from the date they were injured to file a claim or lawsuit against the party they think caused their injuries. There are some exceptions to that time limit. For example, if you were in a car accident caused by another driver but there was a significant period of time between when the accident occurred and when you began having symptoms and/or were diagnosed with the injury, the statute of limitations would be extended to reflect that delay in discovery.
This is one reason why it is critical to see a doctor for a medical evaluation whenever you have been in an accident, even if you do not believe you were injured. One of the strongest pieces of evidence you will have to prove your injury case is your doctor’s diagnosis and opinion regarding your injury. This diagnosis, along with your medical records, will validate the extent of your injury and how it has impacted your life.
Your Virginia personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case to determine when the statute of limitation expires in your situation.
Settlement or Award for Damages
Your attorney will also evaluate your case to determine what types of losses you have suffered and what the dollar values of those losses are. In all likelihood, your attorney and the insurance company representing the at-fault party will negotiate a settlement to cover your damages. According to national statistics, more than 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled before they ever hit the courtroom. However, it is important to have an attorney that will not hesitate to go to trial should the insurance company fail to negotiate a fair and just settlement offer.
Consult a Virginia Accident Lawyer
If you would like to discuss your options with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney, contact our firm today. The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been providing legal advocacy for injured victims for more than 35 years and will use all available resources to get you the best possible outcome for your case.