If you are a victim of any injuries from an accident in Virginia, you may be concerned about the type of legislation governing the state. First, you’ll need to understand how laws concerning negligence function. Also known as tort, the law on negligence stands on the notion that everyone is responsible for the risk and damage they cause to other people. One can be held accountable by being imprisoned or by financially compensating for the harm caused.
For instance, if you injure yourself at work by tripping on loose rigging, you can file a suit for compensation against your employer since they knew about the loose area that needed to be repaired but failed to make the workstation safe for you. Therefore, their negligence resulted in your harm.
What You Need to Know About Virginia’s Statutory Rules
1. Strict Rules Over Shared Fault
Virginia is still among the few states that practice contributory negligence, whereby the victim can be held responsible for some of the faults after an accident. In such cases, the injured party shares some degree of blame for the accident as per Virginia negligence laws.
When contributory negligence is applied to your case, you lose any kind of compensation from the claim. Even if you are 10% at fault, and the defendant is 90% at fault, you may still lose your claim. In such circumstances, you require a good attorney to properly advise you on whether to pursue the case.
2. Limited Time Available to File Personal Injury Claims
Each state has its own statute of limitations, which defines the duration you have to file a case successfully after an accident. The statute of limitation in Virginia is 2 years when dealing with a personal injury case; this starts counting on the day of the accident.
It is best to file a lawsuit as early as possible. Attempting to file your case after the 2 years has passed may be futile,as the case may be rejected.
3. Rules Concerning Claims Filed Against the Virginia Government
Before you file a claim, you must first issue a notice to the government regarding your lawsuit. This is done by submitting a notice to the state in a written form explaining certain details of the accident, such as where and when the incident occurred.
You are required to issue this notice within 6 months from when the accident happened if you are filing the claim against a town or city. However, the time limit is 1 year if the claim is against the transportation district or the state government.
Afterward, the government will respond by accepting and settling the claim or decline it—most of the time, the case is sent to court.
4. The Limitation on Damage Caps for Personal Injury Claims
Most standard injury claims in Virginia do not have caps; therefore, the amount of compensation for economic and non-economic damages suffered is not under any limitations according to state law.
However, a medical malpractice case is capped at $2 million and punitive damages $350,000.
5. Liabilities Regarding Dogs and Other Pets
In Virginia, owners of any animals, including dogs, are held accountable for bites, attacks, and injuries caused by their animals. This only applies if the victim proves that the owner was aware of the animal’s potential danger towards others.
Get a Skilled Lawyer
Having a good attorney enables you to stay updated with the current laws and changes in regulations of your state. There are slight differences in the laws of every state regarding personal injury law.