When trying to settle a car accident claim in Virginia, it is very important to consider the statute of limitations.
Not all insurance companies will give you a fair settlement. Thus, it is necessary to file a lawsuit to claim what rightfully belongs to you.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
Statute of limitations is the period of time in which you may file a lawsuit. If you pass this period of time, then you are barred by the legal system from filing a lawsuit. In other words, you legally cannot sue the defendant for your injuries. Your only recourse will be a settlement with the insurance company.
Virginia Statute of Limitations
In Virginia, there are three separate statute of limitations law you should consider when you are involved in a car accident. Per Code of Virginia section 8.01-243, anyone who was injured in a car accident must file suit within two years of the date of the car accident. This includes the driver, passenger, pedestrian, and bicyclist.
But if you are claiming property damage only, then the statute of limitation is longer at 5 years. So, if you were in a car accident that resulted in both personal injury and property damage, then you must file suit for the personal injury within 2 year of the accident and file suit for property damage within 5 years of the accident.
Finally, under Section 8.01-244, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of death. So, if the victim dies in the car accident, then his family must file within two years of his death. If not, then the family will not be able to sue the defendant and collect on their lost.
Consulting an Attorney in Virginia
If you are involved in a car accident in Virginia, it is best to consult a Virginia attorney, even if you do not think you need to file a lawsuit. The lawyer can go over your damages with you to help you strategize. He can even help you negotiate a fair settlement with the car insurance company.