After suffering injuries in a Virginia car accident, victims and their loved ones might be able to recover compensation for their damages. However, these lawsuits, especially when they involve multiple vehicles, require a thorough understanding of complex procedural, evidentiary, and substantive laws. The primary challenges in these cases revolve around the state’s statute of limitations and contributory negligence laws.
Virginia’s statute of limitations sets the time limit a victim or family has to commence a lawsuit. It is important to note that this statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance claims. The time limits for filing a claim with an insurance company depend mainly on the policy terms. Insurance provisions tend to limit the amount of time to a few days or weeks.
After a Virginia car accident, there are generally three statutes that come into play. The relevant statute of limitations applies to car accident lawsuits, property damage claims, and wrongful death lawsuits. Virginia motor vehicle lawsuits must be filed within two years of the incident. Property damage claims must be filed within five years of the accident. Finally, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits starts running on the day of the victim’s death.
Regarding wrongful death lawsuits, it is essential to note that these claims may be filed later than the accident date. Many people believe that an insurance policy will cover their claims; however, insurance claims often fail to cover a person’s damages. Thus, claimants must pursue their claims promptly.
Another major issue that multivehicle accident claimants should consider is the state’s contributory negligence laws. Virginia follows the strictest contributory negligence laws, barring a plaintiff’s recovery if the victim played any role in the accident. Contributory negligence defenses can come up in any injury lawsuit; however, the most frequently arise in multivehicle cases. Multivehicle cases are particularly complex because the exact series of events may be unclear, and there may be many contributing factors.
For example, local news reports described a harrowing Virginia accident that involved several vehicles and victims. According to the report, a pickup truck was heading east when the vehicle stalled. While the driver got out to evaluate the situation, an SUV slammed into the back of the pickup truck. The driver and two passengers suffered severe injuries. After slamming into the pickup truck, the SUV rolled and collided with a tree in the center median. There were a series of three explosions, and the SUV was set on fire. Tragically, the SUV driver died at the scene of the accident.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Virginia Car Accident?
If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries or died in a Virginia car accident, contact the attorneys at the Schupak Law Firm. The Virginia personal injury attorneys at our firm have successfully represented many injury victims in their claims for damages. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Our office handles Virginia cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home & elder abuse, and car accidents. Contact our office at 240-833-3914 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our legal team.