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How Long After An Accident Can You File A Lawsuit


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Car Accident Attorney, Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, Personal Injury Lawsuit

A legal proceeding is initiated when an individual files a lawsuit against another party. There are various reasons that someone may want to file a lawsuit, but the most common cause is injury compensation after an accident. A car accident lawyer can help determine how long you have to file your claim and what type of damages you may be entitled to receive.

At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we understand your rights as an injured individual and can help you with what steps should be taken if you need to pursue legal action.

Is it Worth Suing After a Car Accident?

When you are injured in a car crash, you may wonder if it is worth suing the other driver. This can be difficult, especially if you consider hiring an attorney.

The first step in any car accident lawsuit is to determine if it is worth your time and money to pursue. Many people are injured in car accidents each year, but not all choose to file a lawsuit. There are several factors that you must consider before making this decision:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The amount of medical bills you have incurred
  • The amount of time you will need to take off work to recover
  • Whether the other driver was insured

If your injuries are minor and you do not have any major medical bills, it may not be worth your time to pursue a legal claim. However, if you have suffered serious injuries and incurred many medical bills, it is likely worth your time to speak with an attorney.

man filing a lawsuit after a personal injury

Factors That Affect How Long You Have To Sue After A Car Accident

A few factors will affect how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. The most important factor is the state in which the accident occurred. Each state has its own time limit for filing a personal injury claim.

Statute of Limitations in Virginia

Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This rule has certain exceptions, such as cases involving minors or when the defendant is not in Virginia.

The Location of The Defendant

If the at-fault driver is located in another state, you may have more time to file a lawsuit. This is because each state has its own statute of limitations, and the states are not always held to the same time limit.

Types of Accident Claims

Negligence Claims

To file a negligence claim, you must prove that the defendant was negligent and this negligence caused your injuries. This can be difficult to do, especially if the defendant is located in another state.

Wrongful Death Claims

If you lose a loved one in an accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. To win a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the defendant was negligent and this negligence caused your loved one’s death.

At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we have experience in personal injury cases and help families pursue legal action after an accident. We understand the importance of acting quickly, and we are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.

personal injury lawyer meeting with client

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, there are certain things you should do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  • Call the police and report the accident.
  • Get medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained.
  • If you plan to file an insurance claim, exchange insurance company information with the other drivers involved
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident.
  • Gather evidence from the scene of the accident (e.g., witness statements, police reports, etc.).
  • Contact a car accident attorney for help filing the car accident claim.

When Should I Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident?

At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we always advise our clients to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after car accidents. Many people wait too long to take action, hurting their chances of receiving compensation. The sooner you involve an attorney, the better they will be able to help gather evidence and build a case on your behalf.

There is no harm in gathering information and speaking with a legal professional, and it may end up being the best decision you make for yourself and your loved ones.

File Early for the Best Chance of Recovery

Filing a lawsuit is just one part of the process. You also need to prove that you are entitled to compensation. This can be difficult, especially if the defendant denies any wrongdoing. The earlier you contact an attorney, the easier it will be for your attorney to gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.

Can You Sue for Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident?

You may be able to file a lawsuit for damages related to the emotional trauma you experienced after an accident. Emotional trauma can be very debilitating and can affect your ability to work, enjoy life, and interact with others.

To win a case for emotional trauma, you must prove that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries and that you have suffered damages as a result.

filing a lawsuit with a personal injury attorney

The Process of Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits

File a Complaint

You must first file a complaint with the court to file a lawsuit. The complaint is a document that lays out the facts of your case and why you believe the defendant is liable for your injuries. It also requests that the court take action and rule in your favor.

Serve the Defendant

After you file the complaint, you must serve a copy of it to the defendant. This means giving them a copy of the document to notice what is happening in the case and start preparing their defense.

Defendant’s Answer 

The defendant will likely file a response to your complaint, known as an answer. In their reply, they will deny or admit the allegations made in your complaint and may also raise defenses to try and avoid being held liable.


After the pleadings are filed, the parties will engage in discovery. This is a process where each side requests and response to written questions (called interrogatories), asks for documents to be produced, and requests to take depositions of the parties and witnesses.

Mediation or Arbitration

If the parties are unable to reach a settlement through negotiation, they may choose to mediate or arbitrate the case. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps the parties come to an agreement. Arbitration is a process where a judge or lawyer, or a panel of judges or lawyers, listens to the evidence and decides who is liable for the accident.


The car accident case may go to trial if it does not settle. The parties will present their evidence at trial, and the jury will decide who is liable for the accident and, if they find for the injured party, how much to award in compensation.

How are Car Accident Lawsuits Settled?

Settlements can be reached through negotiation between the parties involved.  If a settlement is not reached, the case may go to trial, and a jury may award damages to the injured person. 

The best way to find out what will happen in your case is to speak with an attorney. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect and how best to protect your rights.

What Is The Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

There is no one answer to this question as every case is unique. However, the average settlement for a car accident lawsuit tends to be around $30,000.

It is important to note that settlements can vary greatly and you may receive more or less depending on the facts of your case.

How Long Does it Take to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?

 The time it takes to file a case may vary depending on the facts of your case. If you have any questions about filing a lawsuit after an accident, please contact an attorney for more information.

car accident scene

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at The Virginia Trial Firm Today

The process of filing a car accident lawsuit can be complicated and overwhelming. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help guide you through the process.

If you have been involved in a car accident, please contact one of our attorneys at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci as soon as possible. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and will help you understand your rights and guide you through the process.

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