Important Personal Injury Laws in Virginia

If you have been injured and someone else is at fault, you may be able to hold them accountable in civil court. Here, you can seek compensation for the various ways your life has been affected by your injuries.

There are various types of accidents a Virginia personal injury lawyer could help you with, but some of the more common types of accidents include dog bites, car accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, and premises liability claims, to name a few.

But before you make the decision to move forward with your personal injury claim, you may want to prepare yourself. Virginia’s personal injury laws can be complex, and the more you know, the more confident you will feel about moving forward through the claims process.

Continue reading to learn more about Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, what happens if you share fault for the accident, and other relevant laws.

The Statute of Limitations

One of the most important personal injury laws to take note of is the statute of limitations. This sets the amount of time injury victims have to get their lawsuit filed in the civil court system.

In the state of Virginia, you usually have two years from the date of the accident before the statute of limitations expires. If your personal injury lawsuit isn’t filed before the statute of limitations deadline, you will be barred from pursuing your case in civil court.

Virginia Contributory Negligence Laws

Sharing fault for an accident could complicate matters if you are injured in Virginia. This is because Virginia is one of a handful of states that follows pure contributory negligence systems.

Here, if someone who is injured in an accident shares any amount of fault in causing said accident, they are barred from being able to collect compensation from another at-fault party in civil court. Even if you are one percent liable, you will not be able to get the compensation you would otherwise be entitled to.

For example, let’s say you were suddenly read-ended while sitting in stop and go traffic. If you weren’t wearing your seat belt, the liable party (and their attorney) could attempt to argue you are partially at fault for your injuries since you made the decision to drive without a seat belt.

For this reason, if you suspect you might be partially to blame for the accident you were involved in, it’s critical you get an attorney who can help defend you and protect your injury settlement.

Other Relevant Laws

There are specific laws that apply to certain types of accidents. For example, if you were attacked by a dog, you will want to know the specific dog bite laws in Virginia. But there are also a couple of other broad personal injury laws that could affect almost any type of accident.

First, the statute of limitations may be two years for the majority of personal injury claims. But if you are going to be filing a claim against a government agency in Virginia, the deadline is much more strict. You will have just six months to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires.

Second, there are certain situations in which the amount you are awarded could be capped. A cap is the maximum amount of compensation you could be awarded. There are two different types of caps on damages in Virginia. You can only be awarded up to $2 million in Virginia medical malpractice lawsuits, and you can only collect up to $350,000 in punitive damages.