A car accident can leave you physically and emotionally shaken. If you have sustained an injury following a car accident in Virginia, you might be wondering whether or not you should pursue a car accident claim.
Should you choose to move forward with your car accident claim, you must know the procedures you will need to follow to win your case. Here are the essential steps you must keep in mind while pursuing a car accident claim in Virginia.
The statute of limitations
Under Virginia law, a car accident victim has two years effective the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. You should begin gathering evidence for your case as soon as possible. You risk having your claim dismissed if you file your suit after the statute of limitations expires.
Once you have filed a formal complaint in court, your car accident lawsuit will enter what is known as the discovery phase. Legal representatives on both sides will gather information about the case, such as medical records, photos of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts and police reports. Both parties’ legal representatives will review each piece of information to decide what evidence they will use during the trial.
Negligence refers to the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in injury and damage to property. Virginia is a pure contributory negligence state, meaning if the plaintiff is found to have contributed to the accident in any way, then they may be barred from claiming any compensation relating to their injury.
This refers to the financial implications of the injury, such as medical expenses, lost income (both present and future), and the pain and suffering endured by the accident victim. The court will consider the impact of the injury on the victim’s life before determining the amount of compensation they will receive.
If you have been hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, it is important that you understand your legal options and rights. Knowing what to do following a car accident will ensure that you file a strong case and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.