Vehicle accidents are one of the main causes of unintentional injury and death in the United States. Statistics published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles show that 122,434 car accidents took place across the state in 2022, resulting in 59,404 injuries and 1,005 deaths along with many other tragic consequences. Serious car accidents can inflict, emotional, financial, and physical loss on entire families. Although Virginia law allows you to seek recovery if you can prove that the other party was negligent, you only have two years from the day of your accident to file a claim. In order to ensure that you do not miss this or any other important deadlines, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as soon as possible.
Virginia Statute Of Limitations
Every state imposes a strict time limit on filing civil lawsuits. The goal of this limit is to promote efficiency during the legal process by encouraging parties to take prompt action. In most Virginia personal injury cases, the statute of limitations gives plaintiffs until the second anniversary of their car accident to file a lawsuit with the appropriate court.
If you fail to file the lawsuit before the two-year time limit expires, you will be time-barred from pursuing your case any further and will not be entitled to any financial compensation for your damages, no matter how severe they may be.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are a few situations that allow the statute of limitations to be tolled, meaning the clock on the two-year deadline has not begun ticking. One exception that comes up fairly often is when a minor, which is anyone under 18 years of age, is injured in a Virginia Beach car accident. Due to the fact that the injured victim is a minor, they are not legally allowed to bring a lawsuit for any reason. In these cases, the statute of limitations would not begin running until the individual’s 18th birthday and would expire exactly two years later. Since a parent is able to file on behalf of their child, it usually is not necessary to wait.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help My Case?
Two years certainly sounds like plenty of time, but there are numerous requirements and tasks that must be handled before you get to this stage. These things take time so it is important to consult with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Some of the things they can help you with include:
- Conducting an independent investigation and collecting evidence
- Preparing all documentation and supporting forms for your insurance claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company in an effort to receive a full and fair settlement offer
- Representing you during the mediation process
- Representing you in court should it be necessary
Do You Have Questions About the Virginia Statute of Limitations?
If you sustained a serious injury in a car accident caused by someone else, it is important to take immediate action. To find out more about the statute of limitations, exceptions to the statute, and how these may or may not apply to your claim, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp.
Our experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyers have a hard-earned track record of achieving successful results for our clients, like this $235,000 settlement we won for a client who was badly injured by a negligent driver. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today to find out what course of legal action you should take and what we can do for you. We have offices located in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, and Portsmouth.