How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Virginia?
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In most cases, you have 2 years to file a personal injury claim in Virginia. There are many statutes of limitations laws in Virginia that relate to the timeliness of filing a lawsuit. However, for personal injury claims, a victim typically has 2 years to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for their injury due to someone else’s negligence.
The Statute of Limitations for Your Personal Injury Claim
Virginia Code § 8.01-243(A) sets the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia. If you file your lawsuit within the first two years after the accident or incident, you will be within the statute of limitations. This timeline applies to car accidents, assault, battery, (most) medical malpractice, and products liability. This statute of limitations is firm, and courts typically never adjust or extend the deadline. It is important to file your personal injury claim in a timely manner, otherwise, the court may dismiss your lawsuit entirely.
Statutes of Limitations in Virginia
A statute of limitations is a time limit or deadline for filing a lawsuit in a Virginia court of law. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after this period of time runs out, the court will likely dismiss your claim and you will be barred from pursuing your claim in court, even if it is legally sound and legitimate.
The courts take statutes of limitations very seriously, and they are strictly enforced. You have a very limited time after an accident or incident that caused a personal injury, therefore contacting a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your specific rights and the statutes of limitations relevant to your case is important.
Reasons There Are Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations have existed in the court systems for hundreds of years. They were established to ensure that a plaintiff or victim would file a claim for their legal rights within a reasonable period of time. Statutes of limitations exist to prevent stale or fraudulent claims from appearing years—or decades—later, when the evidence cannot be corroborated due to people forgetting details or witnesses passing away.
If Your Personal Injury Claim is Against the Government
Special rules apply if your personal injury claim is against a government entity in the state of Virginia.
When you file an injury claim against a municipality or county in Virginia, you have six months from the date of your injury to submit a written notice of claim. A lawyer can help you ensure that this notice includes the necessary information and is submitted to the correct individuals.
If you file a claim against the State of Virginia, you have one year to file this notice of claim with the State Director of the Division of Risk Management or the Attorney General. After you have filed your notice of claim, you will be able to file a lawsuit. You must file your lawsuit against the State of Virginia within two years of your injury. An attorney can help.
How Statutes of Limitations Affect Your Filing a Claim
Virginia law states that you only need to file a civil action before the statute of limitation period expires. You do not need to have your case heard or settled by either a judge or jury before the statute of limitations runs out. In fact, in many cases, due to the medical issues or complicated nature of the case, the actual case may take more than two years to resolve.
Extending the Timeline
There are certain circumstances under which Virginia will allow the statute of limitations to toll. This means that the statute of limitations will not begin from the date of the personal injury, rather it will be suspended for a period of time. The personal injury statute of limitations may be tolled under the following circumstances:
- The plaintiff is a minor;
- The plaintiff has a disability;
- The plaintiff is not of sound mind;
- The defendant committed fraud in some way;
- The action has been nonsuited.
Other than these very specific instances, a court in the state of Virginia is not likely to extend the statute of limitations deadline for your claim.
Contact the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Today
Determining your statute of limitations for your personal injury claim is a significant legal issue that can impact your entire case. Knowing how long you have to report a personal injury claim in Virginia, we hope you contact our legal team at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at (571) 229-1800 or online today for your free consultation regarding your personal injury claim.