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If you’ve suffered an injury after being involved in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another, you could be entitled to compensation that will cover your damages. However, there are very strict personal injury laws in Virginia that could impact your claim. Below we review some of the most influential laws and describe the ways in which they could affect your case.

The Statute of Limitations

One of the most critical components of your personal injury claim involves the statute of limitations. Though the statute of limitations will vary based on which type of accident you are involved in, you need to be sure to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires in your case.

For the majority of personal injury cases, you will have two years from either the date of the incident or from the date in which you are diagnosed with an injury that is related to the accident you were involved in.

The statute of limitations extends to five years if you are suing for property damages, or if the claim is on behalf of an infant who has suffered physical injuries due to the irresponsible actions of the liable party.

In the event that your claim is going to be filed against the town or city in which the accident occurred, you’ll have just six months to get your claim filed, and up to one year if your claim is going to be against a government entity such as the Virginia Department of Transportation or a state office.

If you fail to file your claim in Small Claims or General District Court depending on the extent of your damages, you will be barred from pursuing compensation for your losses.

Negligence Laws and Your Claim

The state of Virginia is one of a handful of states that follows pure contributory negligence laws to establish fault in a personal injury case. Essentially, this means that in order to pursue a civil lawsuit against the negligent party, you will need to demonstrate that they are 100% liable for the cause of the injuries you suffered.

If you are found to be 1% at-fault, you will no longer be able to file a claim against the culpable person or persons. This shouldn’t deter you from pursuing the compensation you deserve, it’s just something you’ll need to keep in mind when negotiating with the insurance company and otherwise going through the claims process.

Caps on Damages

It might come as a surprise considering the other strict personal injury laws in Virginia, that there is, in fact, no cap on the total amount of economic and non-economic damages that you can obtain from your claim.

There are two areas though that do have caps: medical malpractice claims and punitive damages. The damages in a medical malpractice case have a cap of $2,000,000 regardless of if you are suing an individual, doctor’s office or hospital.

Punitive damages refer to compensation awarded as a form of punishment to a wrongdoer who has been willfully malicious or abhorrent in their actions. Meant to make an example of the liable party in the hopes of preventing similar situations from occurring in the future, punitive damages have a cap of $350,000.

Consult with a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are interested in moving forward with a civil suit, get in touch with experienced personal injury lawyers in Richmond, VA who can help you secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life without the burden of financial anxiety.