Interview with Virginia Lawyer Wayne OBryan on WRIR Richmond VA Radio part 2
If you are injured due to someone else’s fault, what are you entitled to? What type of damages can you potentially recover?Well you can recover a number of different things. You can recover, obviously, your medical bills. You can recover your loss of income if you’re employed. You can recover what we call pain and suffering, which is the inconvenience that you have to go through. For instance, having to go to doctors all the time is very inconvenient, as we all know. That’s a part of your recovery, the inconvenience. The pain that you went through. The suffering that you’re having and the length of it. Scarring can be an element of damages if you have a scar. Particularly for a young woman scarring is a very severe injury particularly if it’s on the face.
It sounds like that is only an illustrative list of examples and not a complete list.Oh absolutely, it is just illustrative.
Okay. How long can you wait in Virginia before you file a personal injury lawsuit?Well the statute of limitations is two years in Virginia and that means that you have two years in which to file suit. That does not mean that you should wait two years before you begin your claim. But if you do not file suit by the end of two years, you lose your claim. In other words you can not recover. And of course the two year statute of limitation is a general rule of thumb it does not necessarily apply to every case. For instance there are some kinds of cases like cases against governmental entities, the state, the city, if you’re hit by a school bus, things of that sort where you are required under law to give notice within six months of the accident. And its laid out in the statute exactly how you have to do it, who you have to give the notice to and what has to be in the notice. So if a person is involved in an accident with that type of vehicle there is the same statute of limitation of two years but there is also a notice provision that requires you to give notice within six months and if you don’t then you lose your claim.
And that two year statute of limitations or that six month notice period, when do those periods begin to run?Generally in most instances they begin to run the date that the accident happened. Sometimes in medical malpractice cases that might be extended because, for instance, if you are seeing a doctor and the doctor commits malpractice on you and you continue to be treated by that doctor then your statute of limitations, generally, in Virginia will not start to run until you stop seeing that doctor. So in other words, if you have malpractice committed on you and you continue to see the doctor for another year after the malpractice occurs then in reality you’ve got three years from the date of the actual malpractice. So you just really need to be careful. Most people want a hard and fast rule on the statute of limitations and thats why people go to law school. Because there are a lot of ramifications and different wrinkles involved in the statute of limitations. The most important thing a person needs to do, if they’re involved in an accident, is to talk to a lawyer and find out when the statute of limitation is.