In every state, after an accident that leaves someone injured and causes the injured party to file suit, there are specific laws that dictate when and how someone can bring a lawsuit. Every state has a statute of limitations, which places a deadline for when a lawsuit must be filed by. In the state of Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years. This means that if you plan to bring a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Virginia, you must do so within two years from the date of the accident.
Additionally, unlike most states, Virginia uses the law of contributory negligence. In the few states left with contributory negligence laws, which includes Virginia, if the person who was injured in the accident also contributed to the accident, the injured person will be barred from recovering damages. Most other states use some form of comparative negligence or modified contributory negligence, which would allow an injured party to still recover some damages even if they have some partial fault in the accident. In Virginia, however, the state also has the last clear chance rule, which means that the final burden to act to avoid an injury falls on the defendant when specific conditions are properly met.
In a recent news report, a chemical lime plant accident occurred in Virginia, involving employees who were providing contracting services to the mine. An employee was trapped inside an excavator that had fallen over onto its side. A second person attempted to help the trapped worker and thus suffered minor lime chemical burns as he was injured in the process. The injured person was treated on the scene by first responders. Unfortunately, by the time rescuers made it to the trapped worker, they found that he was already deceased. All other mine workers made it out safely.