What is the Statute of Limitations on Accident Cases in VA?
The statute of limitations on most personal injury accident cases in VA is two years. A statute of limitations is known as the time you have to file a lawsuit and varies for different laws. Whether you were injured in a car accident, truck accident, or a work-related incident, you have the legal standing to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury. However, different legal limits can apply depending on your case, which is why it is best not to wait a long time after your injury to contact a lawyer. In certain cases, you may only have a few months to begin legal proceedings. If you’ve been injured in an accident, here’s what you should know.
Special Circumstances for VA Government Lawsuits
If you plan to file a case against the state government or any state or municipal government branch, you may only have six months to do so. In VA, it is a requirement to “put the government on notice” that you will be pursuing a lawsuit against them. This petition must be filed within six months of your injury date. Some branches, such as the department of transportation, need to be notified within a year rather than six months. If you’re not sure about your specific case, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer right away so that you don’t lose out on compensation due to a formality.
Other Circumstances For an Extended Statute of Limitations
If you’re a fully able-bodied adult, you only have two years to file a lawsuit. However, there are provisions in place for minors and people with disabilities. If a minor is involved in an accident, in many cases the statute of limitations will be extended to the time the child turns 18, and give them an additional two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Additionally, if an adult with disabilities wishes to prolong the statute they must be declared incapacitated by the appropriate court. This often applies to intellectual disabilities. The statute may also be pushed aside if the plaintiff can produce proof that they were mentally incapacitated throughout the duration of the two years after the accident, and therefore could not file the lawsuit on time.
The person at fault (or the person being sued) may also try to obstruct justice by fleeing the state or filing for bankruptcy to prevent losing money in a lawsuit. If this happens, the court may decide to grant an extension on the statute of limitations based on the premise that the at-fault part used “direct or indirect” actions to prevent justice. This is based on VA’s codes of law, which you can look at for guidance.
There are also exceptions to these exceptions, which is why it is best to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer that will inform you of your specific rights. Though online guides are helpful in general, each case has specific details and only a lawyer with experience in personal injury cases can make sure that you file a proper lawsuit, within the statute of limitations, that has the correct at-fault parties. This will help ensure that you are able to win your case and that it isn’t thrown out because of overlooked legalities. If you need help filing a personal injury claim, contact Alexander Law Group, PLC for a free initial consultation. We have over 20 years of experience helping individuals throughout Virginia win their personal injury lawsuits.