According to a 2021 survey conducted by the CDC, 6% of Americans had suffered a personal injury in the previous three months that limited how much activity they could perform. You may be entitled to compensation for damages if you have suffered an injury from a car accident, a slip-and-fall, medical malpractice, or various other sources.
Personal injuries are never easy to deal with, and navigating the legal system to cover the financial cost of these injuries is especially tough when all you want to do is focus on recovery. At Montagna Law, we lift that burden from your shoulders by taking charge of the legal issues on your behalf. Learn about the different types of personal injury lawsuits, and discover how our Hampton Roads personal injury law firm can help you pursue the compensation you need.
A personal injury lawsuit is a lawsuit in which you file a claim against the party responsible for your injury to get compensation for the damages you suffered, such as medical bills, financial loss, and emotional distress.
Every personal injury lawsuit must prove three elements to be eligible for compensation. In your claim, you must prove:
The exact details of these three elements will vary based on the nature of your case, but all personal injury cases must include them in order to be pursued.
Most commonly, personal injury cases come in nine forms:
Car accidents are very common and can lead to just about any kind of injury you can imagine. Broken bones and traumatic brain injuries are possible, but you may also suffer whiplash and burns from motor vehicle accidents. Motorcycle accidents and truck accidents tend to lead to more serious injuries compared to typical car crashes.
Boating is relatively popular throughout Hampton Roads, so boating accidents are fairly common. These kinds of accidents can be quite severe, causing injuries such as soft tissue damage, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even accidental amputations.
Dog owners may be held liable if their dog bites someone. Dog bites are particularly troublesome for children, as they may not know how to avoid provoking an aggressive dog and tend to sustain more head and face injuries than adults. Puncture wounds are common, but you may also suffer nerve damage, disfigurement, and even rabies in rare cases.
Medical malpractice is when you are injured by a medical professional you trusted with your medical treatment. Sometimes, injuries sustained from medical malpractice or surgical errors go unnoticed for weeks or even years, especially in medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis. Some injuries include internal organ damage, emotional damage from something like a stillbirth, and even surgical tools left inside people after surgery.
People in nursing homes are often abused by the staff, sometimes indirectly via neglect. Injuries sustained in this manner can include bed sores, malnutrition, soiled clothing, and emotional trauma.
Premises liability governs accidents that occur on privately owned property or property owned by a business. Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common forms of this kind of accident, and they can lead to injuries like neck injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.
Product liability claims are cases where a product injures you despite correctly using it. Injuries from defective products can include burns, lacerations, and potentially something more severe like amputation.
Injuries you sustain at work are typically covered by workers’ compensation rather than private personal injury lawsuits, though there is certainly some crossover. Some jobs, such as construction and commercial fishing, are more prone to workplace accidents than others.
You can pursue a lawsuit if a loved one or family member dies due to someone else’s negligence. Wrongful death claims can cover the financial costs of the loss as well as the emotional costs.
The following are some of the most common injuries that we see in personal injury claims:
Back and spine injuries include any damage to your back, spinal cord, or the bones in the area. These can be particularly debilitating because the spine is the central highway for your nervous system, which spreads throughout your body. Particularly severe spine injuries can lead to paralysis.
Broken bones can be incredibly painful and usually take a couple of months to heal fully. Throughout that period, the area in which you suffered the broken bone can be rendered immobile and potentially unusable.
Head injuries are among the most serious kinds of injuries one can suffer, as brain damage can have lifelong debilitating effects. Traumatic brain injuries are always difficult to deal with, and even a concussion is considered a serious condition.
Suffering a personal injury is traumatic in more ways than one. The ordeal’s pain and suffering also take a toll, especially when you consider the physical effect of stress on the body. Plus, losing someone you care about can seriously impact the rest of your life.
Soft tissue injuries are injuries to tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other types of soft tissues. Pain is only the beginning of the problem, as bruising and swelling can also occur. Particularly tough soft tissue injuries like sprains and tendonitis can limit mobility.
In personal injury cases in Virginia, you may be able to claim both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to assign a monetary value to since they include damages like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment in life.
At Montagna Law, we focus on cultivating a communicative and compassionate attorney-client relationship that puts your needs first. We know how difficult recovering from an injury can be, so our Virginia personal injury attorneys handle all the hard legal issues for you. We have won massive settlements, including $995,000 from an auto accident and $1 million from a premises liability case.
Take a look at what one of our previous clients had to say:
“I was referred by a family friend after a car accident. Jon Montagna called personally and offered his help. He and his team are kind, efficient, and thorough!” — Cheryl
If you have been hurt in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Montagna Law can help you pursue compensation for any damages suffered. Contact our law office by calling 877-622-8100 or filling out our online contact form for a free consultation.
Yes, you can still file a personal injury suit if you are suffering from an aggravated preexisting condition. Virginia utilizes what is known as the eggshell skull rule in personal injury law, which means that the liable party is still responsible for the injured party’s actual damages, even if a preexisting injury magnified the damages they sustained.
You can file a claim if an accident worsened a preexisting condition in a way that would not have happened had the accident not occurred.
You do not technically need a lawyer for your personal injury case, but having a lawyer by your side increases your likelihood of receiving a settlement, improves your chance of receiving a larger settlement than if you represented yourself, and saves you the stress of handling your case while you heal.
A Virginia personal injury lawyer will do all the heavy lifting on your behalf. They can negotiate with insurance companies, and they know how to counteract the most common tricks these companies pull. Lawyers can also file all the necessary paperwork and offer legal advice, settlement negotiations, and representation in court if your case goes that far.
In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Virginia is two years from the date of the accident, but some exceptions apply.
For example, the limited discovery rule allows the two-year countdown to begin from the discovery of the injury rather than the date of the accident, as injuries can sometimes go undiscovered for some time. If the injured person is a minor, they have up to their 20th birthday to take legal action, though parents of an injured minor have a five-year limit to file on their child’s behalf.
The value of a personal injury case depends on the nature of your injuries, medical care costs, and the accident’s circumstances. Much of a case’s worth depends on how well your lawyer can negotiate with the at-fault party.
The length of a personal injury case depends on how complex it is. Some can be resolved in a few months, while others take multiple years. Cases that go to trial tend to take significantly longer than those settled out of court.
Jon Montagna received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from American University in Washington D.C. and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999. Jon practices law in the Hampton Roads Virginia area.