A state law that sets a strict time limit on anyone’s right to bring a lawsuit to court is called a “statute of limitation”. If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations appropriate to a claim has run, the lawsuit cannot be pursued in court. In the state of Virginia, there are three main diverse statutes of limitations that could come into work after a car accident. The law of the Supreme Court of Virginia states that statutes of limitations “are designed to suppress fraudulent and stale claims from being asserted after a great lapse of time, to the surprise of the parties, when the evidence may have been lost, the facts may have become obscure because of defective memory, or the witnesses have died or disappeared” which means that by the time a stale claim is charged, a defendant might have lost evidence required to invalidate the claim and the plaintiff, even if is not the victim, may win the case.
For lawsuits concerning car accident injuries, if a driver, passenger, bicyclist, rider, motorcycle rider, or pedestrian was injured and wanted to go through with it to the court and file a lawsuit against the person who inflicted the accident, the court of Virginia demands that the case must be filed in Virginia’s civil court system within the time span of two years since the date of the accident. Otherwise, the lawsuit will no longer be applicable.
Furthermore, in lawsuit regarding the damage to a motor mobile or other property linking to a car accident in the state of Virginia, the case must be filed against any possible defendant in a court during the time span of five years since the accident.
Lastly, if a death resulted from the car accident, and a family member or an involved party want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the filing must be during the specific time span of two years from the death of the victim which could be not as the same day when the accident took place. The failure to file during the statute of limitations may cause someone to lose their chance to force the negligent party to pay for their crime.
Nevertheless, the defendant can use the expiration of the statute of limitations as a defense to not compensate for the crimes filed against him or her. Some cases take longer than the duration of the statute of limitations to get resolved, but the court of Virginia will not deny the request, as long as the civil action has been filed in the court before the termination of the statute of limitations.
However, there are circumstances where the statute of limitations can be tolled. These situations include:
- If the plaintiff is a minor
- If the plaintiff is physically or mentally disabled
- If there has been deception on the duty of the defendant
- If there has been a non-suit in regard to the action