Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers
Understanding Virginia’s Personal Injury Laws & Your Rights
After a serious accident or injury, you have a lot to worry about. Not only do you need to make sure you get the necessary medical care, but you also need to determine how you will be able to afford your medical bills and other related expenses. You might have to take time off work during your recovery, and this can put you and your family under serious financial strain. On top of all this, you must deal with the physical and emotional impact of the injury on your day-to-day life.
At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, we recognize the devastating effects of severe bodily injuries—and we want to help. You don’t have to face these consequences on your own; if someone else was to blame, our Virginia personal injury lawyers can help you fight for fair compensation while also working to hold the at-fault party accountable. With over 100 years of combined experience and millions of dollars recovered for our clients, our team has what it takes to effectively advocate for you.
When to File a Personal Injury Claim
Virginia has what is known as a “statute of limitations” on all personal injury cases. This is the deadline by which you must file your lawsuit; if the statute of limitations expires before you bring your case, you will lose your right to sue the liable party for damages.
The statute of limitations on most personal injury lawsuits in Virginia is two years from the date of the accident or injury. Sometimes, when an injury is not immediately discovered, the statute of limitations begins on the day the injury was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered. In cases brought against government entities, different rules apply.
In any case, it is important that you act quickly after an accident or injury. While taking legal action may be the furthest thing from your mind, it is critical that you do not wait too long to speak to a lawyer who can help you build your claim and, if necessary, file a lawsuit against the liable party within the applicable amount of time.
Proving Your Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury cases are brought on the grounds of negligence, and one of the most important elements of negligence-based claims is proving liability. To have a personal injury case, you must establish that someone else is legally responsible (or liable) for your injuries and resulting damages.
To prove your personal injury case, our attorneys work to demonstrate each of the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to take certain actions and/or avoid certain actions that could cause foreseeable injury
- The defendant failed to uphold, or “breached,” the duty of care, typically by acting negligently or wrongfully, or by intentionally inflicting injury on another
- You were injured and suffered measurable damages for which you can be compensated, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- The defendant’s wrongful or negligent actions or inactions were the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and resulting damages
- You were not at fault and/or did not contribute in any way to the accident, incident, or event that led to your injury and resulting damages
Because Virginia follows a contributory negligence rule, you cannot be found even one percent at fault for the injury-causing event. Unlike states that follow comparative negligence laws, Virginia does not permit anyone who is found partly at fault to file a personal injury claim or recover damages, regardless of the degree of fault assigned to them.
What Damages Are Available in a Personal Injury Case?
A severe injury often leads to an array of physical, emotional, and financial losses. Collectively, these losses are known as “damages.” The purpose of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit is to recover financial compensation for damages resulting from another party’s negligent or wrongful conduct.
Some examples of the types of damages commonly available in personal injury cases include:
- Medical expenses related to the incident
- Projected future medical care costs
- Medications, medical devices, equipment, and related items
- Lost income, wages, and employment-related benefits
- Loss of future earnings, income, wages, and benefits
- Reduced or lost earning capacity
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In instances involving gross negligence and/or willful, wanton, or intentional misconduct, injured victims may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not tied to specific losses; rather, they are meant to punish defendants who act with extreme and egregious disregard for the lives of others.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Navigating Virginia’s personal injury laws can be difficult, especially when you are already dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath of a serious injury. At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, our team is ready to guide you through the recovery process and handle every legal detail of your case so that you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.
We handle a wide range of personal injury matters, including car accident claims, wrongful death lawsuits, and more. We also assist injured workers with workers’ compensation claims and help individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits navigate the SSD system. We are available 24/7 to take your call and answer your questions, and there are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.