Virginia Car Accident Laws: Time Limit to File and Contributory Negligence 

A car accident is a wreck involving a car and least one other vehicle or a pedestrian. For a car accident to meet the standards of a personal injury claim, a driver or passenger must be injured, or property damage occurred. In Virginia, the Commonwealth has rules about how long a person must file a lawsuit and defense that can prevent an injured party from recovering money damages.

Statute of Limitations in Virginia Regarding Filing a Car Accident Claim

Statute of limitation is the amount of time a person must file a personal injury claim in court. If the lawsuit is not filed within that time, they lose their legal right to sue the person who caused the car accident. In Virginia, a person injured in a car accident has two years from the date of the accident to file. If the person only had property damage, they have five years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. This means they weren’t injured in the car accident, but their vehicle is damaged. Many people try to negotiate with an insurance company prior to contacting a personal injury attorney chesapeake va This should not be done. The clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking the day the accident happened. The injured individual should contact a personal injury attorney first and let them negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. This protections the injured person’s rights because the attorney will file the lawsuit immediately while negotiating with the insurance company.

Virginia’s Contributory Negligence Defense May Prevent an Injured Person from Receiving Damages

In the Commonwealth, there are two types of car accident negligence. The first is general negligence. This is used to determine who was at fault for the car accident by looking at the at-fault party’s actions. According to the definition of negligence, a driver is supposed to act as an ordinary driver would in the same situation. They are at fault for the accident if they fail to do everything an ordinary driver would have done. Contributory negligence is the second type of car accident negligence. It is a defense to win a case by arguing the injured person was partially at fault for the car accident. According to Virginia law, an injured plaintiff cannot contribute to the car accident. This mean that the car accident must be the other person’s fault. If an injured person contributed to the car accident in anyway, they are barred from recovering any damages. For instance, injured individual received a jury award of $10,000. The defense successfully argues the injured person failed to yield at a stop sign prior to the accident. If the jury believes the defense, the injured individual is awarded no money. The defendant keeps the $10,000.

Understanding Contributory Law in Virginia

An individual injured in a car crash should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney knows the complexity of contributory negligence and how to successfully argue it down.