Virginia Statute of Limitations

The Virginia statute of limitations is a specific time period in which a person must exercise their legal rights or else waive them forever. Typically, a statute of limitations is the law that limits someone’s ability to take a legal action.

In Virginia, under most circumstances, the statute of limitations is two years; however, there are a variety of circumstances which may delay that. A consultation with a Virginia injury lawyer can help clarify the application of statute of limitations on a person’s specific case.

Calculating the Statute of Limitations

Calculating the Virginia statute of limitations is a case specific inquiry. Statute of limitations, although it can be understood as a general concept, may have specific things that are unique to specific case. In Virginia, generally, the statute of limitations is two years for a personal injury and wrongful death actions. However, the circumstances of a case could fall alter the exact nature of these statute of limitations.

Initiating a Case Within the Statute of Limitations

Because the statute of limitations is two years, that means that an action must be initiated within two years of the date of the injury. Initiated does not mean the case must be concluded, it just means it must be started. There are certain actions that can satisfy the concept of initiation within the two-year period.

The most common of these is the filing of a lawsuit. The filing of a lawsuit satisfies the statute of limitations. And additionally, the case may be resolved through a demand for relief and a legal settlement. This also can be done within the two-year period.

Tolling of Virginia’s Statute of Limitations

There are very limited instances in which the Virginia two-year statute of limitations is tolled, also meaning paused or delayed, one of these is the limited discovery rule.

Virginia, along with some other states, recognizes a limited discovery rule in personal injury cases. This means that if the person through ordinary ability was limited from discovering that they were the victim of a personal injury by another, their statute of limitations may be tolled.

The injured party has the burden of proof to prove that they are unable to discover their injury if they seek to use or implement the discovery rule. The most common examples of discovery rule cases are cases involving medical malpractice where someone has left a foreign object in a person’s body, an injury where someone is in a coma for a long period of time and does not remember facts of the case, or a case involving actual fraud or where a medical provider has taken affirmative steps to cover up the injury and prevent the injured party from discovering the nature of the injury.

Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer

A person who has been injured should contact an attorney because they don’t know what to do under the circumstances and they need to focus on their recovery.

A Virginia attorney will have handled matters of a serious nature on a daily basis. They can help the individual understand what their legal rights are and how they can maximize their legal rights in the form of compensation. Unfortunately, lawyers don’t have the ability to make people whole when they or their loved ones have been injured through the negligence of another. But they can help a person seek redress from the parties that have injured them.

Dealing With Claim Adjusters

It may be necessary to contact an experienced attorney in order to ensure that claim adjusters do not ruin the opportunity to collect in a personal injury case. A claim adjuster is not on your side. A claim adjuster may call the individual shortly after the case and offer to settle or resolve their case, they may say that it is a good deal; however, it is important for the injured party to remember that they only get one chance to collect damages.

If a person settles their claim in short order, they do not get a chance to renegotiate it later when they discover they are more seriously injured.