How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case in Virginia?
Virginia’s statute of limitations for most personal injury cases allows a two-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you must file suit against the party who harmed you within two years of the accident date. Once the timeframe passes, the court will likely dismiss your case if you try to file.
Personal Injury Cases with a Two-Year Statute of Limitations
In most cases, the standard two-year timeframe applies to personal injury matters, such as:
- Medical malpractice
- Auto accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
The clock starts to run on the date you get hurt in an accident caused by someone else. So that means if you get a concussion in a car accident, the two-year timeframe will begin on the crash date.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
Specific circumstances may allow a plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations. That means you can delay the timeframe for filing suit if specific factors apply to your case.
One common exception is for minors. If you are under 18 when the accident occurs, you have two years from your 18th birthday to initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Incapacitation due to being legally incompetent is another exception to the statute of limitations that could be used to extend the timeframe. If you are determined to be legally incompetent, the period of incapacitation will not count toward the two-year period.
You may be able to extend the two-year limitation period for medical malpractice lawsuits against healthcare professionals in scenarios involving:
- A foreign object left in the patient’s body has no diagnostic or therapeutic effect. The statute allows you to file a lawsuit within a one-year timeframe from the date of discovery of the object or when you reasonably should have discovered the object instead of the date of the incident.
- Concealment, intentional misrepresentation, or fraud preventing discovery of the injury during the standard statute of limitations. The statute allows filing suit within one year of discovering the injury or when discovering the injury with reasonable due diligence should have occurred.
Neither exception allows the statute to extend beyond ten years from the date of the medical malpractice.
How to Sue the Government in Virginia
Sovereign immunity typically protects the government from liability. However, the Tort Claims Act allows legal action against a government entity for personal injury or death due to an employee’s negligent or wrongful act or omission occurring while acting within the scope of their employment.
Governmental claims fall under strict jurisdiction and legal requirements. You must follow a specific procedure to pursue action against a government agency after an accident.
The timeframe isn’t as long as that of a personal injury lawsuit. You only have six months from the incident date to file a notice of claim with the appropriate government entity. If you don’t file proper notice, the government will likely deny your claim if you attempt to pursue compensation later.
Seek Justice with Help from a Trusted Culpeper Personal Injury Attorney
Our reputation is based on our hard work and positive case results at Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC. We are a full-service law firm with over 45 years of legal experience. You will receive the aggressive and dependable representation necessary to hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they caused you.
We believe everyone deserves quality legal representation, no matter how large their bank balance. For that reason, we work on a contingency fee basis. You pay us no money upfront, and we work your case diligently. When we get compensation for you, we get an agreed-upon portion for our fee. If we get you no money, you owe us nothing.
Call us at (540) 825-6000 for a confidential consultation today if you sustained injuries in an accident someone else caused. Let us represent you in your personal injury case and pursue the compensation you deserve.