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Car Accident Statute of Limitations

A Car Accident and the Statute of Limitations

You must act promptly in pursuing your claim after a car accident.  Whether it’s the latest gadget or a television ad, we have all heard the phrase “act now.”  Act now is catch phrase used to get people to do something.  Nevertheless, when it comes to a car wreck, it is a good idea to act promptly to secure evidence in your favor and avoid any issues with the statute of limitations.

What is a Statute of Limitations and Why Does it Matter?

The statute of limitations is the time period an injured person has to file a lawsuit in court.  It is a deadline.  It is critical that any person injured by the fault of another act promptly in pursing his or her claim.  The statute of limitation matters.  If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations, you are forever barred from recovering compensation for harms and losses caused by the fault of another.

What is the Statute of Limitations in West Virginia for a Car Accident?

The statute of limitations for injuries sustained in a car accident is two years from the date of the accident.  W.Va. Code § 55-2-12.  This same limitation period applies to property damage caused in a car accident.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Other Cases?

While the statute of limitations is two years for personal injuries and property damage sustained in a car accident, other cause of actions, or types of claims, have differing statute of limitations.  For example, defamation, libel, false arrest, and invasion of privacy have a one-year statute of limitations.  W.Va. Code § 55-2-12(c)Medical malpractice claims generally have a two-year statute of limitations, but they have their own unique set of rules.

For contract cases, the statute of limitations can be four, five, or ten years, depending upon the type of contract and whether the contract is in writing.  W.Va. Code § 55-2-6; W.Va. Code § 46-2-275.

As discussing in our previous blog, wrongful death claims generally have a two-year statute of limitations.

For some claims, what’s commonly referred to as the discovery rule may toll the running of the statute of limitations.  Accordingly, it is important that you timely contact an attorney any time you have a legal issue.  Sitting on your laurels may result in the expiration of your claim.

Act Promptly After a Car Accident

If you are injured through no fault of your own in a car accident, it is the responsibility of the person who caused your injuries to compensate you for your harms and losses.  The goal of this compensation is to put you in the same position you would have been in but for the wrongdoing of the other driver.  In West Virginia, all drivers are required to carry automobile insurance.  Liability insurance exists for a reason: to protect us in case someone is injured as the result of an accident.  It is important that injured drivers act promptly and contact an experienced, West Virginia car accident attorney after a car accident.  Failing to act promptly could result in the loss of your claim due to the statute of limitations.

While our office is located in Hurricane, West Virginia, Barney Law PLLC handles car wreck claims on behalf of injured drivers throughout West Virginia.  Feel free to call us to discuss the unique circumstances of your case.