A personal injury is any harm done to a person’s body or property due to the negligent action of another person. An individual involved in a personal injury case is eligible to file a claim in the civil court and gain compensation. Personal injury cases can come in various forms including, but not limited to:
- Vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accident
- Medical malpractice
Statute of Limitations in Virginia
The statute of limitations is the time during which a person is eligible to file a personal injury claim. This time generally starts from the day when the injury or the accident has occurred. A person is not eligible to file a case once his statute of limitation time is expired. The statute of limitations is TWO YEARS for personal injury cases in the state of Virginia.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims
Because Virginia is a “fault” state, if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia, you are eligible to claim compensation from either your own insurance company or the insurance company of other driver. There are various types of insurance coverage that can be leveraged in a personal injury cases:
- the negligent body injury liability coverage
- medical bills coverage
- underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage
- personal injury protection coverage
Determining fault in a personal injury case
Virginia is one of the rare states that use pure contributory negligence policy based on common laws. Under this rule, if an injured person is even 1 percent at fault, he or she is not able to file a lawsuit and claim for compensation in the court. However, there are few exceptions and it is up to the defendant to prove the blame of the negligent party.
Here’s an EXAMPLE: suppose you are visiting a restaurant while talking on the phone and you decide to sit over a broken chair. Suddenly your chair slips and you fall, and you get a sprains or even fracture. Since the restaurant was using bad quality or broken chairs, it is found to be at fault but since you also overlooked the broken leg of the chair, you are found partially at fault as well. As a result, you will get no compensation in this matter.
Damage caps in Virginia
Virginia does not cap damages in most of the personal injury cases. This also means that the amounts of economic and non-economic damages are unlimited in the state of Virginia. However, there are some exceptions:
- Damage in medical malpractice is capped at $2 million.
- Punitive damages are capped at $350,000