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Personal Injury Claims in the Commonwealth of Virginia - Part 1

Personal injuries are physical and emotional injuries caused on a person’s body or well-being by a person or thing. If the physical injury occurred as a result of an accident or someone’s negligent conduct or reckless behavior, the injured person may file a claim or sue the negligent or reckless party for damages relating to his or her injuries. 

The personal injury lawyers in Suffolk VA, Ferguson, Rawls, & Raines, can help you receive compensation for your physical and emotional injuries following an accident, negligent or reckless conduct by suing the negligent actor on your behalf, under various personal injury theories or claims. 

Common Personal Injury Claims

Some of the most common personal injury claims along with a brief description of each are as follows:

  • Vehicle Accidents Crashes between cars, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, public transportation buses or trolleys, pedestrians, and watercraft fall under this category. Scooters, ATVs, golf carts, and smart cars are also included in this category. Claims for negligence, recklessness, as well as distracted driving or drunk driving by the operator of the vehicle are common under this category. The injured person can be a rider, passenger, pedestrian, or a bystander.
  • Aircraft and Boating Accidents – airplanes, helicopters, fishing boats, yachts, jet skis and other watercraft vehicles are included in this category.
  • Mass Transportation Accidents – accidents involving trains or commuter train lines are included in this category.
  • Slip and Fall Cases failure to maintain sidewalks, repair hazardous conditions or warn people of hazards.

Learn How Personal Injury Litigation Works

More specialized claims within the personal injury category that may involve expert or scientific evidence are as follows:

  • Products Liability or Defective Products – imperfection in the manufacturing or design of a product.
  • Food Poisoning – mishandled food storage and preparation that causes illness (i.e. listeria outbreak, food recalls).
  • Medical Malpractice Claims – injuries caused by doctors in medical care and treatment of people.
  • Nursing Home Abuse – includes elder neglect, negligence, physical and emotional abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse – sexual assault or battery claims against individual or group of individuals.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury – birth defects or accidents that cause catastrophic injury to the brain.

Statute of Limitations

In Virginia an injured party has two years to file a claim or sue a negligent or reckless party from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury for certain types of claims, like medical malpractice. Exceptions exist for government agencies and children, limiting or expanding the statute of limitations period.

Additionally, the Commonwealth imposes a different requirement by type of government agency or actor. Separate rules exist for the following claims:

  • General liability and automobile liability
  • Loss of or damage to state owned property (excluding motor vehicles)
  • Loss of or damage to state owned or leased motor vehicles
  • Bond claims
  • Claims against constitutional officers and regional jails
  • Claims against cities, counties, towns, and other political subdivisions
  • Claims against guardians, pro bono attorneys and state court appointed attorneys
  • Claims against free clinics and volunteer health care practitioners
  • Claims against Meals on Wheels organizations and area agencies on aging
  • Claims against Virginia Railway Express
  • Claims histories for individual health care practitioners

If you think you may be a victim of personal injury the Suffolk lawyers at Ferguson, Rawls & Raines are here to help. Please contact us today so we can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.


 Facing a personal injury trial can seem frightening but understanding the process can relieve much of the anxiety. At FRR we've put together a complimentary, no obligation Pocket Guide on "How Personal Injury Litigation Works." Get your copy today! 

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Topics: Personal Injury


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