Sustaining severe injuries in a car crash can devastate your life. Injuries can prevent you from working and require ongoing medical care and treatment.
Knowing how to proceed can help you address the consequences you and your family face when a catastrophic injury alters your life.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
An injury that causes severe physical or emotional damage with long-term consequences is catastrophic. These injuries result in:
- Spine and brain damage
- Limb, vision or hearing loss
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Post-traumatic stress
- Permanent or long-term disability
How Long Do You Have To File a Claim?
Individuals have two years from the time of their injuries to file Virginia court claims or settle with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. This time frame is usually enough to determine the full financial ramifications of an injury. However, catastrophic injuries often require more than two years of medical treatment. Therefore, filing a claim before assessing total damages can avoid missing the state’s filing deadline.
What are Contributory Negligence and the Last Clear Chance?
Under Virginia law, individuals bearing any amount of responsibility for accidents leading to their injuries forfeit all damages and compensation. The exception to this law is the “last clear chance” doctrine which gives defendants the final opportunity to avoid a plaintiff’s injuries when plaintiffs are unaware of their actions or can not take measures to prevent their injuries despite recognizing imminent danger.
A catastrophic injury can be life-altering or deadly. Although obtaining damages can not compensate you or your family for your loss, a successful legal claim can reduce your financial burdens.