The deadline to sue in a motorcycle accident case is also referred to as the statute of limitations and is a very important date to know when you are filing a claim for compensation against a negligent driver. This is more complicated in motorcycle crash cases because there are three time periods that you must understand and follow.
Deadline to File Your Lawsuit in Your Motorcycle Collision Case
You start your lawsuit against the at-fault motorist who caused your accident by filing a civil complaint in court. The time period you have to do this will depend on the type of compensation you are seeking. Here are the statute of limitations rules that you must comply with:
- Personal injuries. The deadline to file your lawsuit for personal injuries is two years from the date of your collision.
- Property damage. You have five years from the date of the accident to sue the other driver for property damage to your motorcycle and any other damaged property.
- Wrongful death. You must file a wrongful death action if a family member died in the motorcycle crash. You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death—not the accident date—to file your lawsuit.
What Happens If You Sue After the Time Period Has Expired?
You waive your right to sue if you miss the deadline to do so under Virginia law. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the insurance company for the negligent driver would raise this as a defense and ask that your case be dismissed. The judge most likely would grant the motion and dismiss your lawsuit.
Why You Don’t Want to Wait to Retain an Attorney Following a Motorcycle Crash
Even if you have plenty of time before the time period to sue expires, one of your first steps should be to retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. If you wait to hire him, you make it more difficult for him to thoroughly investigate the cause of your crash. For example, witnesses may have disappeared or their memories could have faded. In addition, you may make mistakes that hurt your case if you do not have an attorney advising you right away.
At Tavss Fletcher, our skilled legal team has decades of experience helping victims of motorcycle accidents in Norfolk. We are committed to fighting so that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Call our office to schedule a free consultation today.