ClickCease How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Virginia?

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Virginia?

If you’ve been in a car accident in Virginia, it’s important to know that you have a two-year window from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Filing within this timeframe protects your rights and ensures you can seek the compensation you deserve. Waiting too long to file could mean losing the chance to receive damages.

Working with an experienced Virginia car accident attorney can help you meet all legal requirements, and file your claim accurately and on time. If you need help with your car accident claim or have any questions, contact Regan Zambri Long for a free consultation.

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What Is the Statute of Limitations in Virginia?

A statute of limitations is a period for bringing certain kinds of legal action, including personal injury law. Car accident lawsuits fall under personal injury, so the Virginia statute applies.

The Virginia car accident statute is two years from the accident date. If a car accident lawsuit is not filed within this timeframe, the victim loses their rights to compensation, even if the accident wasn’t their fault.

Exceptions to Statute of Limitations

Virginia law recognizes that certain circumstances may prevent someone from filing a personal injury claim within the two-year statute of limitations. These exceptions can effectively pause the statute of limitations for a car accident:

  • Minors: If the injured victim was under 18 during the accident, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until their 18th birthday. This allows them to reach adulthood and understand their legal rights before pursuing a claim.
  • Disability: The statute of limitations may also be stalled if the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated due to their injuries. This applies to situations like comas or severe injuries that prevent individuals from understanding their legal options. In such cases, the statute would resume once the disability is lifted.

Filing a Car Accident Claim Against a Government Entity

Filing a car accident lawsuit against a government entity in Virginia follows a different process than suing a private individual. The Virginia Tort Claims Act outlines specific procedures and imposes shorter deadlines than the standard two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. If a car accident victim fails to file a notice with the government agency they are prosecuting within 90 days, he or she could be prohibited from pursuing a lawsuit.

Suppose you were involved in a car accident with a government entity. In that case, you should immediately consult with a Regan Zambri Long, Virginia, car accident lawyer to ensure you meet the applicable deadlines and requirements.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

In cases where a car crash resulted in a death, the statute of limitations remains two years. However, the key difference between a wrongful death statute and other personal injury lawsuits is the starting point for the statute of limitations. The wrongful death statute starts on the date your loved one died, even if that is different from the date of the car accident.

Consequences of Missing the Deadline on Your Car Accident Claim

Missing the statute of limitations deadline in Virginia creates a significant legal hurdle. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the allotted timeframe, the court will likely dismiss your case, regardless of your strong claim. This means you lose the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, or lost wages.

Because missing the deadline can have severe consequences, it is critical to consult with a Virginia attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. The personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can advise you of the timeframe of your lawsuit, navigate the legal process, and ensure your claim is filed by the deadline.

Filing a Virginia Car Accident Lawsuit

The Virginia statute of limitations plays a huge role in a car accident case. It establishes a firm deadline to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You and your personal injury attorney must gather evidence, identify the liable parties, and build a strong case that will secure maximum compensation for the victim — all within the two-year limit according to Virginia law. Early action in a personal injury claim allows for a more thorough investigation and helps preserve critical details and witness testimony.

Meeting the statute of limitations requires filing the lawsuit within the timeframe and complying with specific legal requirements. These may include properly notifying the at-fault party and adhering to Virginia court procedures. An experienced car accident attorney can guide you through these legal steps and ensure your claim is filed correctly to avoid dismissal based on technicalities.

Why a Virginia Car Accident Law Firm Should Handle Filing Your Claim

When you’re dealing with serious injuries, the complexities of personal injury claims can be frustrating and overwhelming. A Virginia personal injury attorney understands car accident laws, including the statute of limitations, Virginia’s fault system, and the damages you can recover. Their expertise will help your chances of successful settlement negotiations.

A strong personal injury claim requires a thorough investigation. A car accident lawyer will gather accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and other necessary evidence to support your claim. If negotiations with the insurance company and adjuster don’t end in a favorable settlement, your lawyer will take your case to court.

Understanding Virginia’s “Fault” System for Car Accidents

Virginia follows a “fault” system for car accidents, meaning the party who caused the accident is financially responsible for the resulting damages. To recover compensation, you must prove the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries. This typically involves demonstrating that the other driver acted unreasonably and that their actions directly led to the collision.

The burden of proof is on the person who files a claim for a car accident in Virginia. That means your car accident attorney must establish the other driver’s fault and the extent of your damages. Damages include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and emotional distress.

Contributory Negligence in Virginia Car Accident Cases

Virginia is one of the few states that still practices contributory negligence laws. That means if you’re found to be partially at fault for the car accident in Virginia – even 1% at fault – you will be barred from recovering any compensation.

Virginia car accident attorneys Pat and Chris Regan seated at tableVirginia defense lawyers quickly use contributory negligence to get their clients off the hook. However, the Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers will build a rock-solid case that proves you bear no responsibility for the accident.

Call the Virginia Car Accident Lawyers at Regan Zambri Long Today.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Virginia, don’t wait to seek legal help. Contact the leading Virginia car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation. Our lawyers deeply understand what you and your family are going through, and we will work around the clock to protect your rights and secure fair compensation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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