If you’ve been involved in an accident in Virginia, one of your first questions is probably, “How long after an accident can you file a claim?” The short answer is “it depends” and to contact a personal injury lawyer to get started on your claim immediately.

Exactly how long you have to file a claim depends on many factors. These can include the type of injury you suffered and what sort of accident you were involved in. Another factor to consider is whether you can simply file an insurance claim or need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Taking a look at the general time limits can give you an idea of when you might need to file. However, the only way to make sure you don’t miss a deadline is by scheduling a consultation with a Virginia personal injury law firm as soon as possible. 

The Statute of Limitations for Accidents in Virginia

Virginia civil law outlines the process of recovering compensation when someone else’s actions lead to an accident. The basic process of recovering compensation involves filing an insurance claim and then negotiating a settlement. However, the insurance company might fail to negotiate or refuse to agree to a fair settlement. In those cases, the only option left is to file a lawsuit with a Virginia court.

Unfortunately, there are time limits, called statutes of limitations, for how long you have to file a lawsuit seeking accident compensation. These deadlines differ by state, and every single state will have different timelines for different injury types. After a Virginia accident, the two relevant statutes of limitation you need to worry about are those for personal injury and wrongful death.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Deadlines

If you were injured in a Virginia accident and need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the injury to do so. If your loved one died in a Virginia accident, a lawyer can help you recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. The Virginia deadline for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death.

However, personal injury law is complicated. There might be specific circumstances that apply to your case that can mean you have more or less time than the two-year average.

How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim With an Insurance Company?

Exactly how long you have to file an insurance claim depends on the type of accident and the insurance company’s policies. However, the sooner you file a claim the better.

Waiting to file a claim puts you at risk of missing a deadline you don’t even know about. The best way to protect yourself is to begin working with a Virginia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

It’s Never a Good Idea to Wait to File a Claim for Damages

One of the main reasons you should never wait to have a Virginia personal injury lawyer file a claim is the statute of limitations. It can take quite a while for a personal injury lawyer to build a case and attempt negotiations with the insurance company. These steps generally need to be taken before you file in court. If you miss the time limit, you lose out on the chance to recover the money owed to you.

You also want to file your claim as soon as possible because doing so helps preserve evidence. If you wait a while before contacting a lawyer, you risk losing the opportunity to collect the evidence you need to prove the other party caused the accident.

Why Personal Injury Law Firms File Claims for Their Clients

Many people mistakenly think that filing an accident claim is as simple as calling the insurance company, reporting the accident, and waiting for a check to arrive. Unfortunately, it’s not this straightforward.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They put a lot of work into running likable advertisements on television and hiring friendly, helpful insurance adjusters. However, the reality is that they’ll do whatever they can to give you as little money as they can get away with.

When you talk to an insurance adjuster on the phone, they ask specific questions. Their goal is to get responses from you that make it seem like you caused the accident or that your injuries aren’t so bad. Unfortunately, you can’t take back the answers you give to an insurance adjuster, and they can be used against you to reduce the compensation you’re eligible to receive.

Personal injury lawyers know about all these insurance tricks. A lawyer will handle all insurance paperwork and communication for you so that you don’t accidentally say something that will hurt your chances of recovering the money you need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia Accident Claims

How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim With the Police?

If your accident was minor, Virginia law doesn’t require you to file a police report. If the accident involved over $1,500 in property damage, injury, or death, you have 24 hours from the time of the accident to file your report.

How Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Impact Compensation?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one of the most serious and expensive types of accident trauma. Cases involving TBIs are more complicated and often take longer to resolve, but they often lead to high compensation values. 

Can I Recover Virginia Accident Compensation for a Concussion?

A concussion is an extremely common type of car accident injury. Concussions can incur medical bills, cause you to miss work, and have a lasting impact on your health. A concussion might not seem like a severe injury, but it is a serious one. A personal injury lawyer can work to help you recover compensation.

Consult a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Don’t wait to fight for the money you deserve after an accident in Virginia. Commonwealth Law Group is a Virginia personal injury firm. Our experienced lawyers are ready to help. Call Commonwealth Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer.

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.