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What Happens if I Didn’t Discover an Injury Until Well After Virginia’s Two Year Statute of Limitations?

It is rare but sometimes can occur, where you may discover that you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence well after those injuries have occurred. Take for example if you were injured in a car accident but it seemed at the time like you were completely fine and you were able to walk away from the accident scene without any pain or obvious injuries. Instead, unbeknownst to you at the time, all of your injuries consist of internal injuries that were not readily discoverable until much later. You may go in for surgery for an unrelated medical condition years later and it turns out that you discover that you have an internal injury from the car accident you were involved in years before. What are you to do in that situation?

In such scenarios, traditional legal rules would appear to leave you with no ability to file your personal injury claim in Virginia’s courts given that Virginia’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years, which would leave you unable to seek compensation for your injuries from the party that injured you if more than two years have passed from the motor vehicle accident in which you were injured. However, the law has certain carve-outs for times when someone may discover his or her injuries caused by someone else’s negligence much later. However, the strict nature of Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations is one reason that it is so important that you seek out an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.

The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Virginia

Virginia’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means that, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident or as a result of a slip and fall incident at a retail establishment, you must file suit against whoever’s negligence or actions resulted in your injuries within two years of that incident or else your lawsuit will be barred, except in certain very limited circumstances. Thus, if you suffered injuries to your neck in a slip and fall incident at a grocery store where the floors were not properly mopped after someone dropped a jar of olive oil, you normally would have two years from the date of your fall to file suit against the grocery store or any other party that may have been responsible for your injuries.

Exceptions to Virginia’s Statute of Limitations

There are limited circumstances under which Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations might not be applicable. If, for example, the injured person is under the age of 18, then the two-year statute of limitations does not begin running until he or she turns 18. Thus, if you were 16 when the hypothetical motor vehicle accident described above took place, the two-year statute of limitations for you to file suit against the driver that hit you and caused your injuries does not begin to run until your 18th birthday. In other scenarios, like one in which someone who has worked around asbestos for his whole career discovers that he has terminal cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the two years statute of limitations would apply when the worker first discovers that he has cancer that was caused by his asbestos exposure as a result of his job. These are simply two examples of the circumstances under which Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations may not apply; there also are other instances in which it may or may not apply, so it is important to consult an attorney if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, regardless of when you were injured.

Contact the Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman if You or Someone You Love Has Been Injured in Virginia

Given the importance of ensuring that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence in Virginia, regardless of when you discover those injuries, it is particularly important to seek out the assistance of an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been injured. Our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for our clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and we have represented clients before whose claims may have appeared to be barred by the applicable statute of limitations, but have found ways to ensure they are properly compensated.

If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, no matter when that injury took place, then please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone today at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation regarding your particular situation.

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