How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action After My Auto Accident?

A statute of limitations is a specific time limit that is placed on your right to bring about a lawsuit. These limitations depend on the type of lawsuit you wish to file and the type of loss or damages that you have suffered.  When it comes to auto accidents, there are three different statutes of limitations that might affect your ability to take legal action.

  • According to Code of Virginia section 8.01-243, lawsuits for accidents resulting in injury must be filed in Virginia’s civil court system within two years of the date that the accident occurred.
  • The second limitation is reserved for those who had their vehicle or property damaged by a car accident. These types of lawsuits must be filed within five years of the date of the accident.
  • The last limitation that applies to auto accidents deals with wrongful death claims. If the car accident caused someone’s death, and their family or a representative wants to sue, they must file their wrongful death claim within two years. The deadline begins on the day of the accident victim’s death, which is sometimes later than the date of the accident itself.  

If you try to file any of the above lawsuits after the statute of limitations has expired, the court will likely dismiss your case. This is why it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations and how it can affect your particular situation. Even if you think your accident is likely going to be settled through your insurance company, it is a good idea to leave yourself enough time to file a lawsuit. The more options you have, the better off you will be if you end up needing to take legal action.

Do you have more questions about Virginia’s statues of limitations? Contact our Danville team of car accident attorneys to find out how we can help you today.