Driving late at night can often mean additional risks. Sometimes, however, driving later in the day is simply unavoidable because of things beyond our control. Because of the inherent additional risks of driving in the evenings, however, car accidents that take place later in the day can often be more devastating than usual. Thus, when these incidents happen because of the recklessness or negligence of another driver, it is crucial that those who are responsible are held accountable for their actions.
According to a recent local news report, a two-vehicle car accident sent five people to the hospital. Police reported that the car accident took place around 2:00 AM when a Dodge Challenger was traveling at a “high rate of speed” and rear-ended a Ford Escape. The impact of this initial crash caused the Dodge Challenger to veer off the roadway, flip over, and crash into the jersey wall. The Challenger then went over the guardrail and into the vegetation on the side of the road, which caused all three passengers to suffer life-threatening injuries. The two passengers in the Ford Escape also suffered life-threatening injuries. All five individuals were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The crash remains under investigation by local authorities.
Following a major car accident involving significant physical injury and property damage, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. Potential plaintiffs of major accidents are often advised to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary damages after such accidents. Before doing so, however, it is crucial to understand the basics of laws that govern Virginia personal injury lawsuits and may have an impact on the success of your claim.
First, potential plaintiffs considering filing a personal injury lawsuit must act quickly. Because Virginia law includes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury law claims and a five-year statute of limitations for a property damage claim, it is crucial that potential plaintiffs get started right away to avoid missing these strict deadlines. If the paperwork for your legal claim is not filed within this timeframe, it is likely that your case will not be heard and you will lose out on any potential compensation.
Second, Virginia does not impose damages caps in personal injury cases. This means that the amount of monetary compensation you could receive is not limited, in most circumstances. There are, however, two important exceptions: medical malpractice and punitive damages claims. Medical malpractice claims are capped at $2 million, and punitive damages are capped at $350,000 in Virginia.
Third, Virginia also employs the contributory negligence framework. This means that even if you were only partially at fault in a major car accident, you will be barred entirely from recovering monetary damages. For example, if the at-fault party was 90 percent at fault for the accident that you experienced but you caused the remaining 10 percent, you would be unable to recover compensation.
Do You Need a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently involved in a Virginia car accident, contact The Schupak Law Firm for assistance. We have represented clients in all types of personal injury legal claims and will help you navigate the legal process with ease. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 703-491-7070.