Virginia personal injury law is complex and broad. If you have had an accident resulting in an injury in Virginia due to no fault of your own, there are several things you need to understand about personal injury claims.
8 Ideas to Consider About Virginia Personal Injury Law
What is personal injury in the legal sense?
In the legal sense, a personal injury is an injury caused accidentally or intentionally by another party. Many personal injuries result from negligence, and often, they are categorized by how the victim was injured. There are premises accidents, motor vehicle accidents, faulty product accidents, and medical errors, to name a few.
Personal injury cases commonly involve physical, psychological, and emotional injuries. Damages may include medical expenses, long-term disability, loss of income, and pain and suffering, among other things. Virginia law allows compensation for injuries resulting from negligent or intentional conduct of another only if the other party is deemed liable for causing the injuries.
Is it necessary to determine liability?
Yes, determining liability is essential. To prevail in a personal injury case, you must prove that the defendant failed to act reasonably under the circumstances or intentionally caused your injuries without justification. Also, in Virginia, the accident and resulting injuries cannot be the result of any fault of your own. Unlike most states where you may receive compensation if you are partially at fault, Virginia adheres to the unforgiving law of contributory negligence that bars recovery for even the slightest fault attributable to the plaintiff.
In some cases, it is not easy to determine or prove liability. Insurance companies will seek to assign some or all of the liability to the victim to prevent a payout. A personal injury law firm will be very familiar with similar cases and be able to conduct an investigation on your behalf that may include expert witnesses and analysis.
What is my best course of action if I have been injured?
The first thing you should do is get medical care for your injuries.
If you think your injuries are severe, finding a lawyer specializing in personal injury claims in Virginia is a good idea. It’s essential not to make any statements without legal representation. As soon as possible, begin making a record of the accident with notes and relevant photos.
What if my injuries are more serious than I thought at first?
Unfortunately, sometimes you realize that the injuries you sustained are more severe than you initially thought. Seek medical treatment if you begin to have additional symptoms and work with your medical team on all follow-ups. Virginia law has a statute of limitations of two years for most personal injury claims. By that time, your medical team will usually be fully apprised of your injuries and the extent of your recovery.
What factors impact my ability to be awarded compensation for my injury?
Every case is unique, but generally, the more serious and permanent your injuries are, the higher the compensation. Some injuries are so severe that they permanently disrupt the injured party’s life and create a lifelong disability. These types of injuries are often called catastrophic injuries, and the compensation is generally much higher.
The insurance company wants us to settle the claim quickly.
Insurance companies often want to settle with a quick payout before the full extent of your damages is known. An experienced personal injury lawyer will ensure that settlement negotiations do not occur until you have reached maximum medical improvement and accounted for all past and future damages.
How can a personal injury attorney help me?
An experienced personal injury attorney will help guide you during every step of the case process. They will oversee the investigation phase, consult with expert witnesses, meet all case-related deadlines, and advocate for maximum compensation through settlement negotiations or at trial.
How to Pursue a Personal Injury Claim
The first step to pursuing a personal injury claim is to identify a Personal Injury Law Firm and schedule a free consult. During that meeting, the lawyer will be able to review the specifics of your case and determine if you have a case and the best approach for getting you the settlement that you deserve.
Contact Us Today
Burnett and Williams has a proven track record as one of Virginia’s most respected and established personal injury law firms. Contact us today for a free consultation.