What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Virginia?

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, it is crucial you consult immediately with experienced personal injury lawyers for any possible personal injury claim you are entitled to. An expert team of personal injury attorneys at Gore and Kuperman will help you navigate the complexity of car accident claims, particularly regarding the statute of limitations under which you must file any claim. 


The legal time frame for filing personal injury lawsuits from car accidents in Virginia is two years. This is outlined in the Virginia Code Section 8.01-243(A), which states,

“unless otherwise provided in this section or by another statute, every action for personal injuries, whatever the theory of recovery, and every action for damages resulting from fraud, shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.”


Also known as the statute of limitations, this period begins on the date the accident occurs. If a claim is not filed within this two-year window, you lose your right to pursue legal action for any damages or injuries sustained from the car accident. You must be aware of this deadline and seek legal assistance promptly to protect your rights and secure potential compensation.


Why is There a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations establishes guidelines dictating the maximum time frame within which legal proceedings must be initiated after a specific event. Once this designated period has elapsed, filing a claim may no longer be possible. In certain exceptional situations, the allotted time frame can be extended, and the duration of the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim being filed. As such, it is crucial to know the specific time limits applicable to your claim type to preserve your right to pursue legal action.

Local Governments play a crucial role in managing and enforcing laws that require claims to be filed within their statute of limitations. By setting these time limits, they help ensure that both parties involved in a claim have an opportunity to gather the necessary witnesses and evidence to support their case, thereby maintaining the integrity of the legal process.


Ensuring Fair and Accurate Outcomes

This time-bound approach acknowledges that, as time passes, witnesses’ memories may fade, and evidence might become lost or degraded. Consequently, resolving disputes within a set time frame helps increase the likelihood of fair and accurate outcomes.

Moreover, local governments recognize that prolonging the resolution of a claim can lead to increased stress, financial burden, and emotional strain for the parties involved. Unresolved claims may also negatively impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the legal system and public confidence in the judicial process.

By imposing statutes of limitations, local governments then strive to strike a balance between allowing enough time for parties to seek justice and preventing undue delays that may compromise the fairness and accuracy of legal outcomes. These time limits encourage parties to act promptly and responsibly while ensuring the legal process remains effective and just.


Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Virginia

It is advisable to consult a trusted car accident attorney immediately to ensure adherence to the statute of limitations for car accidents in Virginia. Experienced car accident attorneys at Gore and Kuperman will make sure you’re on the right track for your personal injury claim. 


Retaining an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for you after a car accident is an important first step. A car accident attorney will assist you in compiling and presenting your case in a well-structured and comprehensive manner, ensuring that it fulfills all the criteria.


Upon consulting your car accident attorney, they will start assembling your case and diligently monitor all associated deadlines. There will be time-sensitive milestones throughout the legal process, such as submitting evidence and scheduling court appearances, if necessary. Navigating such a complex case without understanding the judicial system would be incredibly challenging if you attempted to handle it independently.


Should you fail to meet the two-year time limit, you may still submit a claim, but the opposing party will surely attempt to have your lawsuit dismissed, especially if a valid explanation for the delay is not provided. Remember that this two-year statute of limitations solely applies to submitting the initial claim within the allowable legal timeframe. Legal proceedings may require an extensive duration to reach a conclusion, which does not guarantee a resolution within two years. Instead, it merely needs to be filed during this time. An experienced car accident attorney will make sure to help you through this long and arduous process.


Exceptions of Statute of Limitations in Virginia

If you are a young adult, you typically have a one-year grace period from your 18th birthday to submit personal injury claims. This provision is applicable only if no parent or guardian had previously filed the claim on your behalf when the accident occurred. Upon turning 18, you gain the capacity to file claims independently, and prior to this, an adult must initiate the claim for you.

Furthermore, certain actions may hinder your capacity to initiate personal injury claims. For instance, if the opposing party files for bankruptcy, the two-year statute of limitations will be temporarily suspended. The time limit resumes once you regain the ability to submit your claim.

The Virginia Code section 8.01-229 considers this as obstruction or actions taken by a party to impede the opposing party’s pursuit of a claim, which may include using an alias, departing from the state, or actively evading the claim.


Consult a Car Accident Attorney at Gore and Kuperman

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible so your right to claim compensation is preserved within a state law’s statute of limitations.

Gore & Kuperman has experienced car accident attorneys who understand the nuances of car accident claims, including how to best manage a claims statute of limitation for car accidents in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. With extensive experience advocating for the rights of accident victims and a proven history of successful claims, Gore and Kuperman’s legal advocates will make sure that you don’t miss that critical chance to find a legal remedy for your car accident injuries and losses. 

Reach out today to a trusted car accident attorney at Gore and Kuperman.