In personal injury claims, Virginia law only allows an injured person a certain amount of time to file a claim against the liable party. The law concerning this period of time is called the statute of limitations. In personal injury cases in Virginia, this time limit is two years, unless you meet other exceptions. It is important you understand what this code means, how it affects your claim, and how an attorney can help you file the correct papers on time.
What It Means When the Clock Starts
If you were injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations protects your right to bring a lawsuit against the person or entities responsible for your losses for a pre-decided time. In Virginia, you have two years from the date of the crash to file the claim—that is, not the date you noticed the injury or the day (perhaps, a few days or weeks after the crash) you called the insurance company. The clock starts running when the crash occurs.
It’s important to note that you do not have to resolve your case during that time, but must have filed with the proper court and paid the appropriate fees. A case filed after the allowance would be dismissed by the court since the limit was not honored.
Factors Affecting Extensions
Some exceptions to this rule exist that may allow you more time if necessary—but certain rules may decrease the time you can rightly file a lawsuit. Your attorney can help you understand whether you may be eligible for these exceptions, which could include:
- Minors, those with disabilities, or folks with diminished mental capacity.
- Cases not involving negligence—meaning the potential defendant caused harm with purpose and forethought, as in aggressive or drunk driving.
However, it’s important you file the lawsuit as soon as possible since your memory of the crash will be fresh, witnesses are more likely to be nearby, and evidence is less likely to be lost. Your lawyer can explain your smartest options to maximize recovery for damages.
Hire a Trusted Injury Lawyer
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident and have questions about when or how to file a lawsuit against the liable party, we are here for you. Contact the skilled and experienced team at Tavss Fletcher today for a free case evaluation and answers to your questions. Call our toll-free phone number to get started.