If you have been injured because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to help you recover damages. As you think about starting the legal process, consider these four personal injury laws that may be relevant to your case if you file in Virginia.
Statute of Limitations
It’s vital to begin your claim within the timeframe allotted by the statute of limitations. In Virginia, you have two years from the incident date to file a personal injury lawsuit.
One exception to this is the “discovery rule,” which states that the statute of limitations doesn’t begin counting down until you discover the harm done to you. For instance, if you have surgery and find out one year later that the doctor left a foreign object inside you, then you have two years from this date of discovery to file a medical malpractice claim in Virginia.
Pure Contributory Negligence Law
Every state has different laws regarding negligence in personal injury cases. The most lenient states allow the injured party to recover damages, even if they were mostly responsible for the harm they suffered. In many other states, recovering damages is possible if the injured party is partly to blame, but only if their degree of fault is less than 50 percent.
A small handful of states—including Virginia—take a harsh stance called pure contributory negligence. In short, the injured party cannot recover damages if they contributed to their injury or accident in any way, even if they are only 1 percent responsible. This means you must prove that the defendant is 100 percent to blame if you hope to recover any damages.
Caps on Recoverable Damages
Most personal injury damages—including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering—have no limit. However, there are two exceptions in Virginia:
- Punitive damages, which penalize the defendant for their egregious actions, are capped at $350,000.
- Medical malpractice damages from injuries and deaths caused by negligent doctors are capped at $2.4 million for incidents between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. The cap increases by half a million dollars per year for the next decade.
Cause of Action to Bring Forth a Suit
To prevent frivolous lawsuits, Virginia’s state requires claimants to have a “cause of action” or a demonstrable reason to file a claim. It is your responsibility to prove the defendant’s negligence, wrongful act, or default if you hope to recover damages for your injuries.
These are only four of the numerous laws that could be relevant to your Virginia personal injury claim. To ensure a smooth process and maximum payout, you must work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers is committed to helping you recover financially after your injury. Choose us to represent your case, and we’ll work hard to achieve the best possible results. Contact us online to schedule your free case analysis today.