After being injured in an accident, you likely have many questions regarding who is responsible, how you could collect damages for the harm suffered, and where you should go to get answers. An August County personal injury lawyer could address all these questions and more. With a keen understanding of Virginia law and experience successfully handing a variety of civil claims, our team of trustworthy civil attorneys help you navigate the process of negotiating a fair settlement or prosecuting your case before a judge and jury, if necessary.

Types of Civil Claims in Virginia

People may consider pursuing legal action when someone else’s behavior causes them or a loved one to suffer physical, emotional, and/or financial losses. Some accidents can cause substantial personal harm, such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, broken bones, loss of cognitive abilities, mental anguish, and emotional distress.

These and other injuries can occur in numerous ways, but the most common personal injury claims tend to address:

  • Slip and falls incidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Defective products
  • Dog bites
  • Wrongful death

Seasoned personal injury attorneys could help people in Augusta County fight for justice and obtain the damages necessary to sustain them now and in the future.

How Could Someone Recover Damages After a Personal Injury?

Before a plaintiff can receive damages, he or she must establish that someone else legally wronged him or her. In the case of personal injuries, the harm usually arises from someone else’s negligence. The standard for negligence requires a plaintiff to prove four elements in order to recover compensation.

Negligence requires that the other party failed to act with the appropriate level of caution as reasonable people would in the same situation. As a result of breaching the duty owed to the plaintiff – to adhere to a certain level of care – the plaintiff must show that harm and damages resulted. Proving legal negligence can be difficult without legal experience. Representation by a trained local personal injury lawyer could increase the chances of an appropriate recovery.

Collecting Damages in Augusta County

Injured plaintiffs may recoup three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages reimburse financial costs stemming from the injury, such as medical bills and lost earnings. Non-economic damages capture other consequences that are not so easily quantifiable but have a significant impact on a person’s life. This category encompasses repercussions such as inconvenience, mental anguish, pain, suffering, and decreased quality of one’s life. Virginia does not limit the amount a plaintiff may recover for these compensatory damages, but under Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-38.1, punitive damages (aimed at punishing egregious behavior) may not exceed $350,000.

However, any damages award may elude injured parties if he or she played a role in causing the accident. Virginia applies the rule of contributory negligence, meaning plaintiffs who contribute to their harm, even if assuming only one percent of the blame, lose all rights to recover. By working with an experienced civil attorney in Augusta County, injured parties may avoid this very harsh reality.

Statute of Limitations

Although Virginia law supports a plaintiff’s right to hold those accountable for his or her harm and seek damages, injured parties must do so within a reasonable timeframe. The Code of Virginia Annotated § 8.01-243.A requires plaintiffs to file most personal injury cases within two years of the incident. Plaintiffs who fail to raise allegations within this window will most likely have their cases dismissed. Although settlement may still be an option, the loss of the possibility of proceeding to trial may compromise negotiations, leading to a lower recovery amount.

Hire a Reputable Augusta County Personal Injury Attorney

Securing just compensation after an accident can be complicated and tiresome. It requires knowledge of the legal system and dedication to seeing the case through to the end. Our skilled August County personal injury lawyers could help you through this challenging process. Please contact us today for a consultation.