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How Will I Know If I Need To File An Injury Claim Or A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

How will I know if I need to file an injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit?

Were you injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Virginia? Did someone else’s reckless or careless actions force you to deal with severe injuries, mounting medical bills, lost wages due to time off of work, and other losses? If so, you could be eligible to seek fair compensation from the at-fault party for the harm you’ve suffered and losses you’ve incurred.

Those who’ve been hurt in car accidents, slip-and-falls, or other incidents that were no fault of their own often wonder about their rights. You likely feel that you should not have to pay out of your own pocket for the expenses you’ve incurred, but how do you know when it’s time to file a personal injury claim?

The Virginia injury attorneys at The Law Office of Steven D. Barnette, P.C. have extensive experience helping people like you get justice and fair compensation after an injury accident. We’ve provided the following information on injury claims and the timeline you should follow, and we’ll be ready to assist you if you’ve been hurt.

Taking action after an injury accident

Every day, people are injured in car accidents, falls, defective products, medical negligence, dog bites, and other incidents that were not their fault. When this happens, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. In general, you could seek this compensation through an injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

These are two separate actions that share a similar goal: to help you recover the money you need to pay your bills, recoup lost wages and other losses, and move on with your life after a severe injury.

Injury Claims

In many instances, victims will first seek compensation through a personal injury claim. This is a claim between you and the at-fault party’s insurance company. For example, if you were hit by a car, you might file a claim against the other driver’s auto insurance policy.  If you were hurt on someone else’s property or were bitten by a dog, you might file a claim against their homeowners’ insurance policy.

Through negotiations with the other party’s insurance company, an experienced injury lawyer will work to secure a settlement offer that takes into account any current and future losses associated with the accident.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

While a majority of injury claims settle long before a lawsuit needs to be filed, there are times when it is necessary to file a lawsuit to get what you’re owed. If the insurance company refuses to offer a settlement or tries to get you to accept a “lowball” offer, your attorney might recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages in court.

In general, victims might be eligible to seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages from time missed from work
  • Loss of future earnings, if disabled
  • Repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed property
  • Pain and suffering

Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia is two years from the date the injury occurred (Virginia Code § 8.01-243). This means that you’ll want to make sure to file your lawsuit (if necessary) before this time limit expires. If you miss the deadline, the court will be barred from hearing your case.

You’ll want to give your attorney plenty of time to investigate the accident, collect evidence to support your claim, negotiate for a settlement, and file a lawsuit if it is necessary. This means that it is crucial to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury accident. The more time you give your attorney to work, the stronger of a case they can build on your behalf.

Contact a Virginia Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Virginia, know that you’re not alone. The Virginia injury lawyers of The Law Offices of Steven D. Barnette, P.C. are ready to stand up and fight for you. Our locally-owned and operated firm provides top-notch representation to those who’ve been hurt in Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Tappahannock, Abingdon, and the surrounding areas.

We will be ready to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Contact us by calling one of our four conveniently located offices, or by reaching out to us online today.



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