The statute of limitations for Virginia auto accident cases is two years. That means that you must work with an attorney to file your case within this timeframe, but you don’t necessarily need to have it resolved by the end of this timeframe.
Time starts ticking from the date of your car accident, though in some rare cases, the courts might extend this to the date that you learn about your injuries. But you should not rely on the courts to provide this grace period as it is only in very specific circumstances.
Learn all about the auto accident statute of limitations and why you need to pay close attention to this timeframe to avoid missing out on the opportunity to recover financial damages from the at-fault party.
Why Do States Have a Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is in place to help protect all parties involved in these cases. The longer that you wait to file your case, the more challenging evidence will be to find and prove. Here are some reasons why the states have a statute of limitations:
- Makes evidence easier to find and prove
- Ensures witnesses still remember the incident in question with great clarity
- Protects the interests of both parties
- Allows the judge to render a fair verdict
And, the longer that you wait to file a personal injury claim, the longer you’ll be forced to pay for medical treatments and other expenses out of pocket, which can deplete savings accounts and cause undue hardship for you and possibly your loved ones.
Does the Amount I Can Obtain in Damages Change Over Time?
No, the amount you can obtain in damages does not change over time, but time can impact evidence and ongoing medical bills. For example, fresh evidence might be important in proving pain and suffering related to an auto accident. Therefore, it’s important to work toward filing your case in a reasonable time.
But you also don’t want to file a lawsuit too soon before you know the extent of your injuries. Some victims are so eager to ensure their bills are paid that they file a lawsuit just weeks after an accident. And while this is a very proactive approach, it can have financial consequences.
If you’re still in the early treatment phases for injuries, you might not know the long-term impacts your injuries will have. Some car accident victims never get back to where they were as far as their health while others can make a full recovery.
Additionally, some conditions require ongoing medical care that you’ll want to include in the total compensation you seek in your lawsuit.
Factors that Impact Personal Injury Lawsuit Financials
The total amount you’ll pursue in your auto accident personal injury lawsuit will be based on several factors, including:
- Your injuries
- Amount of time you missed at work
- Medical professional’s expert opinion on the need for ongoing care
- The total amount allowable in the defendant’s car insurance policy
- Changes to your daily life or ability to continue working
Your attorney can advise you on what expenses you should include in your personal injury lawsuit. You should follow your attorney’s guidance closely as failing to do so could harm your case or make settlement negotiations more challenging.
Get Free Consultation From an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident attorney is an expert at negotiating a fair settlement and managing the demands of a car accident case. It’s in your best interest to hire an attorney because it will help ensure you recover the amount you need financially to avoid impacts on your personal finances. Contact Geoff McDonald & Associates now to schedule a free legal consultation.