Victims of automobile accidents and other personal injury claimants only have a limited window of time to file their compensation claims, this is called the Virginia statute of limitations. This is a regulatory law intended to keep the legal framework’s integrity intact and to avoid compromising the defendant’s ability to counter the claims.
Usually, delayed lawsuits are seen with a suspicious lens in the legal world. This is because victims don’t naturally delay seeking justice if they have a solid case. No matter what the case, you must find a way to file a civil lawsuit (if matters don’t come to a resolution with settlement negotiations) within the given time limit.
Failing to do so often results in the case being rejected without a second thought.
Although there are exceptions to this statute of limitations, it is always wise to seek legal consultation and help from personal injury lawyers immediately after an accident to get compensated for your losses.Virginia Statute of Limitations
The law is meant to protect the interests of all parties involved in a personal injury case. Where it offers support to the victims in their bid to secure financial compensation, it is also meant to safeguard the defendant against false accusations. Thus regulatory laws such as the statute of limitations are mean to ensure complete fairness for both sides involved in a legal tussle.
Virginia Statute of Limitations
The statutes of limitations have some generalizations across the states:
- This proscribed time limit is determined relative to the moment this accident happened.
- The time cap is subject to variability based on the type of claim, the intensity of criminal actions and abuses involved, and the location (state rules differ).
- For most of the states, a two-year statute for personal injury cases, although it may be shorter or longer in other situations.
- This limit can be extended under certain conditions demanding flexibility.
- Failing to file a lawsuit under this time limit can result in your case being rejected.
The terms for the statutes of limitations are not constant. In Virginia, personal injury victims usually have a 2-year limit to file their claims, however, there are certain exceptions to this rule. In any case, if you’ve been involved in an accident, even a minor one, seeking legal counsel should be the top-most priority.
Seeking financial compensation for a personal injury case is not something you can delay and come back to when you feel like it. Instead, you must gather yourself and get working on building a solid case immediately.
Most lawyers suggest that you gather firsthand evidence at the site of the accident or mishap and keep track of any expenses that resulted due to the said accident. When you do contact a personal injury attorney, you will be in a much better position if you have evidence to back up your claims.
Accompanied by your lawyer, you should confront the at-fault party’s insurance company and seek financial compensation for your losses. Odds are that the settlement negotiations may fail to achieve much or drag on unnecessarily.
If so, then your only option will be to turn to a court of law.
Thus delaying matters beyond the applicable statute is out of the question, you will have to go through every step of the process as quickly as possible to ensure the compensatory action for damages in your case.
Time Limit For Personal Injury Lawsuits In Virginia
As mentioned earlier, the clock starts ticking precisely from the moment an accident happens. From that point onwards, you only have a two-year time period to file your personal injury claim. The same also applies if the said accident involved a wrongful death.
If the offender was in an automobile (i.e. car crash) then you can expect a one-year extension in this time limit. Even if the time limit for your case has gone up, you may be able to file it as some exceptions can push the deadline farther up.
The discovery rule is one such exception to statutes of limitations. In this case, some new angle or evidence comes to light that allows the judge and jury to look at it from a different view. If this does happen, you may be able to file your case and fight for financial compensation even if the hour is up.
For instance, you may not have known the full extent of the damage caused by an incident until after the deadline for filing a lawsuit went passing by. The discovery rule will also be applicable in cases where the victim was not aware of the correlation between the sufferings and damages caused and the incident that set it all in motion.
In case an accident involved minors, disabled individuals, or mentally ill people, you can expect an extension in the time limit.
Thus proceeding with proper legal counsel is vital for securing justice.
Just a PS, if you’re filing a complaint against a government entity or government employee, the time limit may be shortened as compared to the usual.
What Purpose Does The Virginia Statute of Limitations Serve?
Accident victims are usually of the sentiment that the statute of limitations is a restriction to their right to justice. However, this is not the case. Our legal system is designed to consider all possibilities within any given scenario.
Personal injury cases usually result in considerable financial, physical, and psychological damage. There is not even a semi-rational explanation for any delays here. A victim should ideally be yearning for financial compensation from day one.
Usually, such delayed cases have an ulterior motive and the judicial system simply intends to preempt any misuse of the law.
Moreover, the defendant may lose evidence proving their innocence over a prolonged period, thus necessitating statutes of limitations.
The law is meant to consider the needs of both sides; clients of lawyers are often advised to waste no time in securing their rights.
The VACAIL Law Firm Is On Your Side
The best practice for securing a fair settlement is to get in touch with a competent lawyer as soon as an incident happens. The VACAIL law firm has some of the most highly regarded, well-informed, and experienced personal injury attorneys in all of Virginia.
We will represent you at all stages of the process and ensure that justice is served.
Give us a call today, and we’ll handle the rest!
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