Most Significant Tort Laws in Virginia
Tort laws are complex. A person who is injured or harmed may sue the person who committed the tort (action) in civil court. A tort may be an intentional act or an unintentional act. If unintentional, it is usually referred to as negligence and occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care to prevent or avoid injury or harm to another person or their property.
There are a few important issues to note in regards to tort laws:
- Applicable standard of care. There are three standards of care under a tort in Virginia. A person may be liable for injuries you have suffered if the act that caused harm was intentional, or when their negligence caused you harm, or they conducted activities for which strict liability is imposed.
- What if the injury is work-related? Workers’ compensation is the sole remedy for injuries suffered on the job. Traditional tort law principles do not apply if you were hurt at work or diagnosed with an occupational illness. In some cases you may have both a tort claim against the third-party that caused you harm and a workers’ compensation claim.
- What remedies are available? Proving that someone caused you harm is not enough to win a tort claim. You must also prove that the other person’s conduct caused you monetary damages. Expert witness testimony is often key.
Types of Tort Actions in Virginia Personal Injury Law
Torts are broken up into several categories including Intentional Torts, Negligence, Strict Liability, Reputation-Based Torts, Nuisance, and Workers’ Compensation
An intentional tort is an overt act that is either meant to cause harm to another or that is reasonably foreseeable to cause harm to another with clear certainty.
Negligence is the most flexible of all torts because it is based on a reasonableness standard. It's important to note this standard varies depending on the judge or jury deciding the case.
Strict Liability Torts
There are some situations where Virginia tort law declares that a person may be held liable for damages regardless of fault. These are known as strict liability torts.
Reputation-based torts differ from intentional torts and negligence-based torts in that they involve intangible injuries (i.e., injuries that cannot be seen). Reputation-based torts are ones that cause harm to reputation rather than physical harm.
Often considered a cause of action involving injuries to property, the tort of nuisance may apply if you have suffered physical or mental personal injury. This can happen if someone maintains a nuisance on their property.
If you suffer an injury on the job, or contract an occupational disease, then workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy, although a third party claim can also take place with a workers’ comp claim.
How Much Can Be Collected In A Tort Case?
In a personal injury action based on tort you ask for a lump sum amount of money for your damages. There is no limit on how much you may ask for and be awarded, with the exception of medical malpractice actions. The amount you actually collect, however, may be limited by available insurance coverage or the amount of assets the defendant has.
If you need legal representation contact the experienced attorneys at Alexander Law Group, PLC. Our experience spans a wide range of expertise to include Mass Torts, brain and other catastrophic injuries as well as automobile accidents, and malpractice. Contact us today at (804) 271-1969.