If you are injured in an accident in Virginia, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit seeking damages. You have two years to file a personal injury claim in Virginia in most cases. This is known as the “statute of limitations.”
At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we understand that it can be difficult to focus on a lawsuit while trying to recover from your injuries. We offer a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We will review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options.
If you have been injured in an accident, don’t wait to call us. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your case.
Virginia Statute of Limitations Laws
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia is set by Virginia Code § 8.01-243(A). Under this code, if you file your lawsuit within the first two years after the accident or incident, you will be with the statute of limitations. This applies to:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
Courts do not typically adjust or extend the deadline for personal injury lawsuits. It is important to contact an attorney and file your claim as soon as possible, or the court may dismiss your lawsuit entirely.
Claims Against Government Entities
For claims against a governmental entity, you have to file both a Notice of Claim and a lawsuit, and the filing deadlines are not the same.
If your claim is against a city, town, or county in Virginia, you must file a written notice of claim within six months of the date you were injured. This notice must contain specific information relating to the nature of the claim and be filed with one or more people designated by law.
If your claim is against the Commonwealth of Virginia, you have one year after the injury to file your written notice with the State Director of the Division of Risk Management or Attorney General. After filing your written notice, you must file your lawsuit against the state within 18 months and no later than two years after the date you were injured.
Personal injury cases against government entities are incredibly complex, so it is especially important to contact a personal injury attorney for help with your case.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?
The statute of limitations ensures that plaintiffs or victims would file a claim for their legal rights within a reasonable period of time. Statutes of limitations help prevent stagnant or fraudulent claims from appearing years or decades later when the evidence may be gone or forgotten.
What Happens If I Don’t File Within the Two-Year Statute of Limitations?
It’s vital to get your personal injury lawsuit filed in Virginia’s civil court system before your window closes. If you try to file a personal injury lawsuit after the deadline, the defendant will typically ask the court to dismiss the case . Unless there is a rare exception that gives you extra time, the court will dismiss your case. This dismissal may bar you from asking a court to award you damages for your injuries, no matter how severe they might be.
You may still negotiate a settlement with the defendant or their insurance company after the statute of limitations has expired. However, you will have no legal recourse if they refuse to offer you a settlement.
Exceptions to the Virginia Statute of Limitations
There are specific instances 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 accident. Instead, it will be suspended for a period of time. The statute of limitations may be tolled if:
- The plaintiff is a minor
- The plaintiff is not of sound mind
- The plaintiff has a disability
- The action has been nonsuited
- The defendant committed fraud in some way
If these circumstances do not apply to your case, the Virginia court will not likely extend the statute of limitations deadline for your claim. If you have any questions about whether or not your case falls within one of these exceptions, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
How Can I Make Sure I Don’t Miss the Statute of Limitations?
The best way to make sure you don’t miss the statute of limitations is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney will be able to help you investigate your case, gather evidence, and file your lawsuit before the deadline.
Don’t wait to contact an attorney if you have been injured in an accident. The sooner you do, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci
If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to contact a lawyer. They can help you to understand your legal options and protect your rights.
Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci is a personal injury law firm serving individuals and families throughout Virginia. We often meet people at a time of uncertainty in their lives, a moment when they have suffered a life-altering catastrophic injury or wrongful death and are seeking help.
At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we understand that we have an opportunity to guide our clients towards a better future, and we take that responsibility seriously. Call (804) 607-3101 today for a free consultation.