What Is The Statute Of Limitations In West Virginia Personal Injury Cases?
When a person suffers a serious injury in an accident in West Virginia, or they get hurt because of another party’s intentional wrongdoing, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Like other types of civil lawsuits, these personal injury cases have a statute of limitations that sets a deadline by which the injured person must file a lawsuit if they want to seek damages. What is the statute of limitations, and how does it work in West Virginia personal injury cases? Our experienced West Virginia personal injury attorneys can provide you with more information about the statute of limitations, how it can impact a person’s ability to file a lawsuit, and when the statute of limitations may be paused in order to give a plaintiff more time.
Understanding How a Statute of Limitations Works
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the amount of time that a party has to file a lawsuit. There are statutes of limitations for both civil and criminal cases, including for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are types of civil lawsuits, which means that a party is seeking monetary damages as a remedy for losses sustained in an accident or as a result of another party’s actions.
The statute of limitations will have a “clock” that starts to “tick” at a certain point — often when a person gets injured, or when a person dies from their injuries. The clock will continue to “tick” for a limited amount of time, and the plaintiff must file a lawsuit before that clock stops “ticking.” If a plaintiff fails to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out, they will have a time-barred claim. Once a claim is time-barred, the plaintiff will be ineligible to obtain compensation by filing a civil lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Most Personal Injury Cases in West Virginia
Under West Virginia law, most personal injury lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations. What this means is that an injured person will usually need to file a personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury.
Wrongful death lawsuits in West Virginia — which can be filed when a person sustains fatal injuries — also have a two-year statute of limitations in most cases. However, the “clock” on a wrongful death case will typically begin to “tick” on the date of the person’s death rather than the date of the injury.
Potential Exceptions to the Rule
There are some exceptions that can allow a potential plaintiff to pause, or “toll,” the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations may be tolled in certain cases involving minors, for example, as well as in certain medical malpractice cases. To determine the applicable statute of limitations in your case, you should seek advice from an attorney.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Do you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in West Virginia or seeking compensation following the accidental death of a loved one? One of the experienced West Virginia personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Brian G. Miller CO., L.P.A. can speak with you today about your circumstances and can provide you with more information about your options for seeking financial compensation.