There is nothing easy about filing a personal injury lawsuit after being harmed by the actions of another party. Indeed, not only are lawsuits legally intensive and potentially expensive, but filing a lawsuit may force you to relive your injury and trauma, which can be emotional, stressful, and even have psychological implications. Which is why if you have been injured, taking legal action may not be the first thing on your list.
But even though it may be hard to do, bringing forth a claim for damages sooner rather than later after an injury is essential. This is because Virginia maintains a statute of limitations for all personal injury cases.
A statute of limitations is a legal cap on the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations are fixed; there are very few exceptions made that are not permitted under the statute.
Virginia has different statutes of limitations for different types of legal actions. For all actions for personal injuries, the statute requires that a suit be brought within two years of the cause of action.
However, the two-year statute of limitations may be extended in cases involving medical malpractice, as found in Section 8.01-243(C) of Code of Virginia, when the cause of action involves a foreign object being left within the plaintiff’s body; in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation that prevents the plaintiff from discovering the injury; or when the claim involves the negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor, cancer, or schwannoma.
Unfortunately, if you wait too long to file a personal injury claim and want to file a suit outside of the statute of limitations, you will be barred from doing so. This means that if you wait longer than two years from the date of your injury to file your civil action, you will be unable to recover compensation indefinitely.
As a note, it’s not just important to file your claim early in order to ensure that you do so within the statute of limitations; when you file earlier, what happened is fresher in everyone’s minds, evidence is more likely to be preserved, and you have a greater chance of recovering compensation for your harm sooner.
At Hampton Injury Law, Attorney Jan Hoen can aid you in understanding the law and filing your claim within the statute of limitations. For a free consultation with Hampton Injury Law, please call our office directly or send us an email or message online. We’ll work hard for you.