Making a Personal Injury Claim: The Statute of Limitations in VirginiaSwango Law P.C
The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations of Virginia sets a specific time frame that must be met if a person seeking damages wants to sue. If an injured person does not bring legal action within this time frame they may lose their right to seek damages—lose their rights forever.
Knowing how long you have available to take legal action on personal injury in Virginia is, therefore, important as it allows you time to prepare your case and seek advice. How long do you have under Virginia’s Statute of Limitations?
That depends on the case. Each case will have its own specifics and we offer a brief outline of some of those below:
What is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury?
According to Virginia code, the statute of limitations for claims arising from personal injury will generally be two years from the time the injury occurred. A personal injury relates to disabilities arising from the actions of another individual or person or animal under their care.
Although two years seems like a long time, when you add in police investigations, potential medical procedures and filling times, that time frame can disappear very quickly. Understanding your rights and obligations early will ensure you don’t miss the deadline for filing.
The Statute of Limitations Can Be Longer in Some Cases
The two-year statute of limitations available for personal injury can be extended for injuries caused by medical malpractice. There are specific sections of the code that provide an extension to claimants who feel they have a case. Medical malpractice covers a wide variety of incidents some of which are listed below:
- A foreign object being left in a patient’s body,
- Concealment or intentional misrepresentation of an injury, and
- Failure to diagnose.
If you believe a health care provider has caused you injury through negligence then you might be able to seek damages. The extensions available for medical malpractice allows for discovery as many of the injuries arising from malpractice are only noticeable after a procedure or treatment has occurred.
Personal Injury Statutes & Sexual Abuse Claims
The personal injury statute also provides for victims who may not display any noticeable physical impairment. Sexual abuse is one such area.
The statute provides victims of sexual abuse occurring during infancy or times of incapacity a period of 20 years from the time the abuse occurred to bring an action. Acts such as rape and sexual battery are covered under this protection.
While no physical impairment may be noticeable the mental anguish victims of these crimes endure can be as debilitating as any physical impairment.
Rape and sexual battery are also covered under the personal injury statute.
Personal Injury Claims against the Government
If you have been injured by a Government employee or in a government building then you will need to sue the State. As with all Government requirements, they do not make it easy.
When it comes to claims against a city, town or county of Virginia then things get a little bit tricky. The law says that you must provide written intent to sue, or Notice of Claim, within six months of the injury. You must provide full details of the nature of the claim as well.
If you are intending to sue the State of Virginia they are a little more accommodating. In this situation, you have one year to file your lawsuit, but they are a little sneaky. You still must file a Notice of Claim within the six-month window as well as your lawsuit papers.
Virginia personal injury law and the statute of limitations can be complex and difficult to navigate. If you believe you have a strong case for damages against a third party, let Swango Law P.C’s team of experienced personal injury lawyers help you get the settlement you deserve. For more information visit our Virginia Beach office for a FREE consultation today.