How Long Do I have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim is called the statute of limitations. In most personal injury lawsuits you and your lawyer have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. There are a few complications involving injuries to minors and medical malpractice lawsuits.
For personal injuries to minors, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the minor reaches the age of 18, except in medical malpractice cases.
Medical malpractice lawsuits generally follow the two-year statute of limitations, but the Virginia Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected a discovery rule. A discovery rule means that the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until you discover your injury or reasonably should have discovered your injury. Instead, you get two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit and that’s it. However, the Court does state that the statute should not begin running until you have finished treatment. The strange thing is that the statute of limitations for an object left in the body by a doctor is only one year after discovery or the date when an object should reasonably have been discovered.
For minors, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is bizarre. For injuries to children, parents have up to five years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of their child. However, a minor can only file a lawsuit on their own behalf within two years, although the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the child reaches the age of 8.
If you are unsure whether you are still able to file a personal injury claim, a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer can help. Please contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation.