Personal Injury Lawyer in Norfolk Virginia
Norfolk, VA Personal Injury Attorney Representing Clients and their Families
Accidents happen often in Norfolk, and people can sustain debilitating and life-threatening injuries. If another person’s negligence or reckless actions caused your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim in order to hold that party accountable.
Depending upon the details of your case, a personal injury lawyer in Norfolk Virginia may start by helping with an insurance claim and negotiating a reasonable settlement. In other cases, your attorney may suggest immediately beginning the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit. You may be eligible to obtain a variety of compensatory damages by filing a claim. We know how difficult it can be to struggle with medical bills when you are unable to work due to an injury. By filing a personal injury claim, you can seek the financial compensation you deserve.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Norfolk, Virginia?
In a personal injury lawsuit, an injured person can seek financial compensation from the responsible or negligent party. Given that there are many different ways in which a person can sustain injuries due to negligence, there are also a wide variety of personal injury lawsuits. At Breit Law Firm PC, we handle many different kinds of personal injury claims on a regular basis. Examples of some of the cases we take include but are not limited to:
- Car accident claims;
- Truck accident cases;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accident claims;
- Insurance claim cases and appeals;
- Pharmaceutical drug claims and other product liability lawsuits;
- Slips and falls and other premises liability claims;
- Admiralty claims;
- Longshoreman claims;
- Railroad lawsuits;
- Medical malpractice or medical negligence; and
- Wrongful death.
Should I File a Norfolk, VA Insurance Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Many injury victims are unsure whether they should begin the process of seeking financial compensation by filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. The answer to this question depends upon the specific facts of your case.
In some circumstances, it could make sense to file an insurance claim before moving onto a personal injury lawsuit. A dedicated Norfolk personal injury lawyer at our firm can discuss the specific details of your case with you and your options for moving forward.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Am Partially At Fault for a Norfolk Accident and My Personal Injuries?
We often work with plaintiffs who are concerned that the defendant will try to argue that they are partially at fault for the accident or injuries. While plaintiffs can still recover damages even if they are partially at fault in many states, Virginia is not currently one of those states.
To be sure, Virginia still follows a system that is known as pure contributory negligence. With pure contributory negligence, the moment the court decides that the plaintiff is even one percent at fault, the plaintiff becomes barred from obtaining damages. Many other states use proportional systems in which a plaintiff’s damages award is reduced by her own percentage of fault, but to reiterate, Virginia is not one of these states.
How does the issue of contributory negligence come up? It is a defense strategy that the defense may raise. However, you should keep in mind that the defendant would have to prove that you are partially at fault in order for the court to bar you from recovery. An aggressive and experienced personal injury attorney in Norfolk can develop a strategy and can gather evidence to show that there is no issue of contributory negligence and that you should be entitled to damages.
Norfolk, VA Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
When you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Norfolk, it is essential to pay attention to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a clock for filing a lawsuit. When a plaintiff fails to file a claim within the time period set by the statute of limitations, the plaintiff is barred from filing a claim due to the time limit running out.
Under Virginia law (Virginia Code § 8.01-243), the statute of limitations for nearly all personal injury lawsuits brought under a theory of negligence is two years. Accordingly, a plaintiff is required to file a lawsuit within two years from the initial date that she sustained her injuries. For most cases, this date is easy to pinpoint. For example, the “clock” on the statute of limitations usually starts “running” in a motor vehicle accident case on the date of the crash, or in a premises liability lawsuit on the date that the plaintiff slipped, tripped, or fell because of a hazardous condition at a local restaurant. However, the date on which the clock starts ticking for medical malpractice claims can be more complicated because a plaintiff might not immediately realize she was injured.
For instance, if a surgeon accidentally leaves a foreign body in a patient during surgery—such as a surgery tool or a sponge—it could take several months or even years for the plaintiff to experience any signs or symptoms. Likewise, if a doctor improperly diagnoses a patient with a minor condition but it turns out the patient actually had cancer, it could be years before the patient is diagnosed with cancer. Accordingly, more than two years may have passed since the patient’s wrong diagnosis. In a variety of medical malpractice cases, Virginia law may extend the statute of limitations so the patient has one year from the date that the injury was discovered to file a lawsuit.
However, you should never assume you have additional time beyond the two-year statute of limitations and should seek advice from a Norfolk personal injury attorney.
Contact a Norfolk Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents and injuries are much too frequent in Norfolk. Most serious injuries that occur in accidents could have been prevented if the responsible party had been more careful. Whether you were injured yourself or recently lost a loved one in a severe accident, you may be eligible to file a claim to seek financial compensation. Even though the statute of limitations likely gives you two years to file a claim, it is important to begin working with a personal injury lawyer in Norfolk VA as soon as possible. Contact Breit Law PC today to learn more about how we zealously represent our clients in Virginia personal injury lawsuits.