Although we know they can happen, no one wants to be involved in a car accident. You do what you can to avoid them, by paying attention to the road and driving safely, but there’s not much you can do about other drivers. And when one of them makes a mistake and injures you in the process, time can be your enemy.
The statute of limitations
In Virginia, every driver of a motor vehicle is required to drive in a reasonably safe manner at all times. When someone breaches that duty, and through that breach they cause an accident that injures another person, they are considered legally negligent and can be held accountable for their negligence. Virginia gives you the right to file suit, so that you can be made whole again.
But at the same time Virginia gives you the right to sue, it also places a time limit on that right. This is known as the statute of limitations – generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you do not meet the deadline, you lose the right to sue forever.
Other time considerations
Beyond the statute of limitations, there is also a practical time limit which can affect your lawsuit. Its success is dependent upon the evidence you can present to support your claim, and that evidence must first be collected.
The problem with evidence is that it often begins to deteriorate immediately. Witnesses must be interviewed and their statements taken, but memories fade quickly. Documents or other physical evidence needs to be collected but they can easily become lost or disposed of.
A personal injury lawsuit is a powerful tool at your disposal but waiting too long to begin can weaken it greatly. Speak to a professional who is experienced in Virginia personal injury law – they can help you start the process, to maximize your chances of recovery.