Doctor Looking at Brain Scans | Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury LawyerAfter suffering a brain injury, there are certain actions you need to take quickly. Obviously, someone at the scene needs to contact law enforcement (or notify the property owner in a slip and fall), and then you should seek immediate medical attention. There’s another step that’s just as important, however. Calling an attorney as soon as possible is key to protecting yourself financially and legally.

There Is a Statute of Limitations on Traumatic Brain Injury Cases in VA

If another person chooses to engage in negligent behavior and you are hurt as a result, you have the legal right in all 50 states to pursue compensation. Your timeframe for pursuing that compensation is not unlimited, however. The state of Virginia has enacted a statute of limitations that places a hard cap on how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit.

That includes any kind of accident that leads to a traumatic brain injury, whether you were hurt in a:

  • Bus accident
  • Car crash
  • Elevator or escalator incident
  • Motorcycle collision
  • Pedestrian accident
  • Slip and fall or trip and fall
  • Sports injury
  • Truck wreck
  • Workplace mishap

If your case isn’t brought within two years of the date of the accident, the court will almost certainly toss your case immediately.

There are only very limited exceptions to the two-year timeframe, such as TBI cases where the victim becomes mentally incapacitated and cannot represent themselves in court. The statute of limitations may also be altered if the victim is a minor child. In those cases, the child has two years from the date they turn 18 to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Personal Injury Evidence Must Be Gathered and Preserved

Even without the clock on the statute of limitations ticking down, there’s another extremely important reason to call an attorney early. There are details you will need to gather for a successful outcome, whether you pursue damages from insurance, a settlement with the at-fault party, or a court judgement.

Unfortunately, those details won’t remain available forever. Witnesses forget things. Businesses shred old documents. Security camera footage is eventually deleted. All of those pieces of evidence may be crucial to your eventual financial recovery. That’s why you need an attorney to perform a full investigation.

That’s important in any type of accident, but especially so if the liable party is a large corporation, such as a trucking company or retail store chain. Sending a demand letter to retain employment records is one critical way an attorney protects your legal rights while you are recovering from a TBI.

The Sooner You Start a Virginia Claim, the Sooner You Can Recover Financially

It’s important to start the financial recovery process as soon as possible because of the potentially far-reaching impacts of a traumatic brain injury. Achieving maximum medical recovery may be a lengthy process for anyone who sustains a brain injury.

You will also need an attorney to handle the civil side of the case. Even if the at-fault party who caused your injury is charged with a crime, those criminal proceedings won’t do anything for your financial situation. The liable party being found guilty of a crime won’t cover your medical bills or take care of lost wages while you were recovering.

To achieve a financial recovery, a skilled lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance and potentially present your personal injury case to a jury. The end goal is to recover compensation for:

  • Adaptive equipment or other home-based changes you have to make to accommodate your condition.
  • Health care costs, such as hospital bills, surgical costs, the price of medication, and any out-of-pocket expenses while seeking treatment for your TBI.
  • Non-economic damages, which may be extensive with a brain injury and can cover pain, suffering, and lost quality of life. These damages may be particularly important in situations where the victim experiences cognitive, emotional, or language difficulties after the injury.
  • Wages you lost while recovering. An additional amount may be necessary to cover lost earning potential if the symptoms of the brain injury result in permanent disability.
Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims
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