FREE Case Evaluation

* required fields

Alexandria Personal Injury Lawyer

There were 760 deaths in Alexandria in 2012 according to Virginia Health Statistics.  A total of 18.5 percent of those deaths occurred due to unintentional injury. Unintentional injury was the fifth most common cause of death statewide in Virginia, following only cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory conditions. When an injury or death occurs, victims or their family members need to understand their right to take legal action and obtain compensation. An Alexandria personal injury lawyer can help those who are hurt to pursue a claim for damages.

Who is To Blame for Alexandria Injuries?

Almost any person who is negligent or who fails to fulfill a legal obligation can be held liable for injuries that result from his lapses. This could include:

  • A careless driver who causes a car crash.
  • A homeowner or renter who doesn’t take care of his property, leading to dangerous hazards that affect visitors.
  • A dog owner whose animal attacks.
  • A doctor, dentist, chiropractor, or other health professional who offers substandard medical treatment.

Companies can be held accountable for failure to fulfill duties to consumers. This could include:

  • Pharmaceutical or medical device companies who release defective drugs or devices.
  • Manufacturers of motor vehicles who release cars with defects.
  • Restaurants, stores, and hotels that don’t maintain a safe environment for customers.
  • Building or property owners who are negligent regarding security, resulting in an act of violence.
  • A trucking company, nursing home, or other business whose employees are negligent on the job while performing work tasks.

Government employees and agencies also have obligations to the public and can be held responsible for failure to fulfill them. However, sovereign immunity rules limit lawsuits against government workers and agencies so making an injury claim is more complicated. If a local, state, or federal government employee or agency is responsible for your injuries, contact an Alexandria personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights to pursue a claim. Depending on the government entity responsible for your injuries, you may have a short period of time (as little as 180 days) within which to put the government on notice of your claim for damages.

Contributory Negligence Rules and Alexandria Injury Cases

Virginia is one of very few states that has maintained contributory negligence rules. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, a person who is partially responsible for his or her own injuries can be barred from compensation for those injuries, even if another person or organization played a significant role in causing the harm.

Contributory negligence is an affirmative defense, meaning that a defendant must plead and prove the defense to bar the plaintiff from recovering. For example, a driver who made one careless mistake and who was five percent responsible for his own collision will likely be barred from recovery if the defendant can show that the plaintiff was partially responsible.  Even if you were partially responsible for your injuries, you should seek the help of an Alexandria personal injury attorney as there are limited circumstances where a plaintiff may be able to overcome a contributory negligence defense. An Alexandria personal injury lawyer can help you try to show the other party is 100 percent at fault or can help you to explore possible legal theories to defeat a contributory negligence defense.

Compensation for Alexandria Injuries

The Virginia legal system allows for victims of injuries to be “made whole.” An injury victim in Virginia can seek compensation for:

  • All medical expenditures, including any expected future medical treatments.
  • Any loss of wages, including everything from vacation days immediately after the injury to permanent loss in income due to ongoing injury.
  • Any loss of earning capacity caused by the injuries.
  • Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and decreased quality of life after the accident.

Compensation may be obtained through the negotiation of a settlement or through a trial in which the plaintiff or his Alexandria personal injury lawyer proves the defendant is liable for losses.  Frequently, a defendant’s liability insurance policy may provide payment of damages.

Insurers, however, are not interested in taking care of victims. They are interested in making money, and thus trying to pay out as little as possible for losses. Always speak to an Alexandria personal injury lawyer before you agree to anything an insurance company offers. While you will have a contractual obligation to cooperate with your own insurer in most circumstances, as an injury victim, you do not have any obligations to another party’s insurance company. You are not obligated to sign any documents for the other party’s insurer, to provide any records or a release for your health information to their insurer, or to accept a settlement offer. Do not give a statement to another party’s insurance company without first speaking to a lawyer.

Fatal Injuries in Alexandria, VA

If an injury causes death, the party responsible does not escape liability even though the victim is not able to sue. A wrongful death claim can be brought in lieu of a personal injury claim.  Damages for wrongful death can include:

  • Compensation to surviving family members or dependents for the money and support the deceased would have provided if his or her life had not been cut short.
  • Compensation for sorrow and mental anguish, including lost society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice.
  • Payment of funeral expenditures and medical expenses.

Close family members and representatives of the deceased may bring a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in the name of the personal representative. An Alexandria personal injury lawyer can help to open an estate and file a lawsuit after a death has occurred.

Making a Personal Injury Claim in Alexandria

Virginia Code Section 8.01-243 sets time limits for filing a lawsuit for most injury claims. The general rule is that a claim must be resolved or suit must be filed against the responsible parties within two years from the time of the accident or incident that resulted in  injury or within two years from the date of death.

Exceptions exist for certain types of medical malpractice that are not immediately discovered. If a surgical instrument was left inside a patient, for example, a claim may be brought within one year of the time the instrument reasonably should have been discovered. In most cases involving the negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor or cancer, the limitations period for filing a lawsuit will be extended to one year from the date that the diagnosis of a malignant cancer or tumor is communicated to the patient by a health care provider.

In some other circumstances, such as those involving the infancy or incapacity of a plaintiff, the statute of limitations may also be extended. If you are concerned about the statute of limitations pertaining to your claim, contact an Alexandria personal injury lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.

Contact an Alexandria Personal Injury Lawyer

You deserve to move on with your life after an injury, which means not being left with financial worries due to medical expenses, limits on your ability to work, or the loss of a loved one’s income.  An Alexandria personal injury lawyer can help you to  fight for the compensation that you need to move forward. Call as soon as possible after your injury to get legal help with your claim.