In general, the statute of limitations for Virginia vehicle accidents is two years. The statute of limitations is essentially a time limit. It is imposed by the state and determines the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the driver whose negligence caused your car accident.
Understanding and complying with the filing deadline is an important part of your vehicle accident case. Failure to comply could prevent you from filing your lawsuit at all. Even if you manage to file it late, the at-fault driver’s representative will ask for its immediate dismissal — a request that is likely to be granted. This could leave you with no legal recourse when seeking compensation.
A Fatal Car Accident Will Have a Slightly Different Statute of Limitations
Va. Code § 8.01-243 defines the personal injury statute of limitations. The statutory clock starts counting down from the date the accident occurs. If the car accident in question took someone’s life, the statute of limitations is also two years.
In fatal car accident cases, the wrongful death statute of limitations is found in Va. Code § 8.01-244. It starts the statutory clock running on the date of your loved one’s passing, even if that is different from the date of the accident.
You Could Have a Shorter Filing Deadline in Cases Involving the Government
If a government-owned or operated vehicle caused your accident, you generally have one year to notify the appropriate agency of your legal intentions, per Va. Code § 8.01-195.6.
Such notification must be made in writing and submitted within the allotted time. If you partner with an attorney, they will draft the written notification for you and ensure it is submitted on time.
There Are Some Exceptions to Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations must be complied with in your car accident case. Complying is complicated, though, because the relevant date can change based on the following factors:
- The age of the injured party
- If the at-fault driver is incarcerated
- If a disability prevented the injured party from initiating legal action
Other factors can also change or toll the statute. They can be difficult to determine on your own. A good way to ensure compliance is to hire a car accident attorney in your area. Their familiarity with personal injury law will help them determine your case’s filing deadline and what measures could help you.
You Can Recover Damages if You Abide by the Statute of Limitations in VA
Recovering compensation after your accident is an important aspect of your accident case. It can account for:
- Past, present, and future medical care
- Past, present, and future income losses (such as tips and bonuses)
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Treatment-related travel expenses
- Ongoing mental and emotional anguish
- Wrongful death-related losses, such as funeral and burial costs (if you lost a loved one)
Every car accident case is different and will have its own unique set of recoverable damages. Your lawyer will evaluate what losses you can recover and employ a suitable course of action.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Build a Strong Case
In addition to explaining the statute of limitations, a lawyer can take other measures that bolster and support your case. They may:
- Assess the financial value of your case
- Handle all emails, phone calls, and other relevant communications
- Conduct an independent investigation
- Use evidence to support your case
Your lawyer will also handle the settlement negotiation process. If they cannot reach a settlement, they can explore filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Your Lawyer Can Manage Your Case on a Contingency-Fee Basis
When a lawyer works with you on a contingency-fee-basis, they cover all upfront costs associated with your case. This includes all filing and processing fees, consulting costs, and other related expenses.
Furthermore. in a contingency-fee-based arrangement, you pay your lawyer nothing unless they resolve your case. To secure the best possible outcome for your situation, they will:
- Review your case
- File your lawsuit
- Speak to witnesses
- Consult experts
- Negotiate a settlement
With no hourly fees or retainers to worry about, you don’t have to delay legal aid any longer. You can connect with a lawyer at your earliest convenience.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Case Review
Were you or someone you love recently injured in a car accident? If so, the statute of limitations for Virginia vehicle accidents plays an important role in your case’s outcome.
When you’re ready to explore your options, connect with the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC. Our car accident team is ready to manage your case from beginning to end. You can trust that we’ll do everything possible to resolve your injury claim or lawsuit. We offer free case reviews, so there is no obligation to partner with us when you call.