Injuries can strike at any time, often when you can least afford it. According to data from the National Safety Council, there were 55.4 million injuries reported in 2020 alone. Whether you were badly injured in a car accident, truck accident motorcycle accident, boat collision, etc., it is important to understand there are certain statutory deadlines you will have to meet in order to properly pursue damages through a Virginia Beach personal injury claim.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a formal deadline set forth by the Virginia Assembly establishing the general time horizon for when someone needs to file a civil claim, including a personal injury claim. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury claims is two years. Missing the statute of limitations often means you run the risk of losing your legal right to pursue damages, even if your injury was the fault of someone else.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
The causes and types of injury claims vary widely, especially in an area as diverse as Virginia. Generally, any injury suffered as a result of negligence by another party falls under “personal injury” statutes. While the vast majority of injuries will fall into the personal injury category, there are a multitude of other types of injury cases our Virginia firm handles, including:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Traumatic brain injuries
When you suffer an injury in one of the above types of accidents, your claim will need to be filed within the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations in Virginia Beach
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is codified under Title 8, Chapter 4 of the state civil code, which holds that that “every action for personal injuries, no matter the theory of recovery, and every action for damages resulting from fraud, shall be brought within two years” of the date the injury occurred. What this means is that, in most cases, you must file your lawsuit within two years or miss out on your chance to obtain compensation for your injuries. While the two-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases, there are certain exceptions depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury.
Injuries Involving Minors
When the injured person is under the age of 18, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin until the person turns 18. Therefore, the person has two years from the day they turn 18 to file their claim.
Injuries Involving Government Vehicles and Officials
When a local government entity is involved, like a public bus, utility truck, etc. the rules and statutory deadlines are quite different. In fact, when filing a claim against a local government entity, the limitations period is much shorter. according to Virginia Code § 15.2-209, a written notice statement must be sent within six months of an injury if the claim is against a local government, such as a town or county. This correspondence needs to include the following pieces of information:
- The time the incident occurred that resulted in your injury
- The place
- The nature of the claim
This statement must be filed with the county, city, or town attorney or with the chief executive or mayor of the county, city, or town.
Damages in a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Claim
Once you suffer an injury, you more than likely will be facing damages that you can recover if your claim is successful. While every case is different, some of the more common recoverable damages in a Virginia personal injury case include:
- Medical costs and bills
- Cost of ongoing treatment
- Physical therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of income and enjoyment of life
Our team of expert personal injury attorneys specialize in determining which damages you are entitled to receive, and they will also help you in the pursuit of these damages.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia Beach Today
Facing an injury means a long road to recovery, not to mention financial and personal strain on your loved ones. Because of this, getting compensation for your injuries is extremely important. The first step to recovery is filing your personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Our team of experienced, compassionate Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you through every step of the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery. For more information, contact our office today for a free consultation.