Charlottesville Personal Injury Lawyers
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Albemarle County
Navigating the aftermath of a serious accident or life-changing injury can be extremely challenging. At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, we understand the significant physical, emotional, and financial difficulties you are facing, and we want to help.
Since 1980, our firm has been representing the rights of the severely injured, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Virginia. Together, our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience, along with an extensive track record of success. We have recovered many million- and multimillion-dollar results for our clients and have held numerous individuals, companies, and entities responsible for their negligence and wrongful conduct. At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, we strive to not only help our individual clients secure the justice and fair compensation they are owed but also to help enact changes to make our communities better, safer places for all.
Who Can File a Personal Injury Claim?
Generally speaking, Virginia personal injury laws allow anyone who has been injured—physically, emotionally, or financially—due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The law also permits an individual to bring a personal injury lawsuit on the basis of strict liability and default. However, most personal injury claims are brought on the basis of negligence.
To bring a personal injury case on the basis of negligence, you will need to prove the following:
- Injury: First, you must establish that you have suffered an injury that led to measurable, compensable damages. This includes financial losses, as well as intangible harm, such as physical and mental pain and suffering.
- Duty of Care: You will also need to prove that the person or party against whom you are bringing the claim (the “defendant”) had a legal responsibility to take or avoid certain actions in order to prevent foreseeable injury or harm. This is known as a “duty of care.”
- Breach of the Duty of Care: Additionally, you must prove that the defendant breached, or failed to uphold, the duty of care. Most often, this involves proving that the defendant acted negligently or wrongfully in some way.
- Causation: Lastly, you must demonstrate how the defendant’s breach of the duty of care led to your injuries. In other words, the defendant’s negligence or wrongful conduct must be the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and damages.
Under Virginia’s strict contributory negligence rule, you may also need to prove that you were not at all to blame for the incident that led to your injury. If you are found to be even one percent at fault, you cannot file a personal injury claim or recover compensation for your damages.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Like other states, Virginia has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit; if you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case, and you will be unable to collect any compensation for your damages.
The general statute of limitations on most personal injury lawsuits in Virginia is two years. Most often, the clock begins running on the date of the accident or injury. However, if the injury was not and could not have been discovered right away, the statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or deferred, to two years from the date on which the injury was discovered or could have been discovered.
Other exceptions apply. For instance, cases against local or state governments are subject to different, stricter timelines, as well as separate proceedings. We encourage you to reach out to our Charlottesville personal injury lawyers as soon as possible after an accident or injury to find out how our team can help you initiate your case. The sooner we can get started investigating the accident, putting together evidence, and building your case, the better.
Why Choose Reinhardt | Harper | Davis?
Our firm has been representing injured Virginians for over four decades. Throughout this time, we have earned a reputation as one of the area’s leading injury law firms; many attorneys even turn to us for help with their cases. In addition to our extensive personal injury practice, we represent clients with a wide variety of workers’ compensation and Social Security disability matters.
Most importantly, at Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, we truly care about our clients. We are proud of our hard-earned reputation, as well as our history of success, but we are most proud of the many ways we have helped real people navigate some of the most challenging times in their lives.
Our Charlottesville personal injury attorneys are supported by a knowledgeable and professional staff of paralegals, case managers, and intake specialists. As a client, you can expect to receive a high level of personal attention, service, and support, along with 24-hour accessibility and frequent communication regarding the status of your case. Our team is always here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.