The Steps of a Virginia Personal Injury Lawsuit
- Posted on: Aug 12 2020
Virginia personal injury cases have many moving parts. Therefore, it is imperative to always seek the assistance of a Virginia personal injury attorney as early as possible.
Your personal injury attorney will interview you, witnesses to the event, as well any investigating police officers. Photographs will be taken to document the scene and property damage as well as any personal injuries you have received.
The Demand Letter
Your personal injury attorney will keep in close contact with you regarding your injuries and treatment, obtaining copies of your medical records, bills, and diagnostic results. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement your attorney will meet with you to discuss preparing a demand letter. The demand letter will be sent to the responsible party’s insurance carrier and will include appropriate documentation for their evaluation of the claim.
The purpose of the demand letter is to present evidence of (1) liability on the part of the responsible party and (2) document the damages suffered by the client. Upon receipt of the demand letter, the insurance company will typically
- confirm receipt of the demand letter
- calendar a response time for the insurance company;
- negotiate by offering a different amount for settlement;
- continue negotiating until compromise settlement occurs; or
- refuse to negotiate because the insurer disagrees with liability
If the parties are unable to agree on a settlement amount or disagree as to the proximate cause of the damages, the injured party will typically file a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of an injury unless the claim is for a minor or individual under certain disabilities. If an injured party fails to file a claim within this two-year timeframe, they will be barred from seeking financial compensation for his or her injury.
After an injured party files a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia, his or her personal injury attorney will begin the discovery process. During “discovery” each party to the lawsuit seeks information from the other about the accident, liability, damages, and other information that may reveal strengths and weaknesses of the other party’s evidence.
Most personal injury lawsuits settle prior to trial. A trial can be an expensive and time-consuming process, so many claims go on to settle. There are other options to trial, however, which include mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation. Parties should request a trial date from the court as soon as it appears they are unable to settle. After trial experts are designated the parties often are able to resolve the case in lieu of going to trial.
If the case goes to trial the court will have a procedure for obtaining evidence from each side. A trial judge or civil jury (seven jurors) will hear from both parties, with each side presenting an opening statement and evidence to the court. After jury instructions are given by the judge, each side will give closing arguments and the case will be submitted to the jury for deliberation. The jury will advise the court when it reaches its verdict. If the plaintiff’s case is successful, the court will award compensation for damages which include medical bills, wage loss, future wage loss, scaring, and other damages as set by the Virginia law.
Contact our Virginia personal injury attorneys
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident in Virginia, you need a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia personal injury attorney on your side. At Walker Jones, PC, Susan Pierce has over 30 years of experience as a Virginia personal injury attorney. She is dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your injury. When she takes on your Virginia personal injury case you can be assured she will do everything in her power to protect your rights and obtain the maximum damage award. If you have been injured, please contact Susan Pierce at Walker Jones P.C. to schedule a free consultation.
Posted in: Personal Injury