There’s almost nothing as sad in our line of work as when we receive a call from a person who is still really suffering after an accident and they have waited too long, missing the deadline for taking legal action to receive compensation for their injuries through a personal injury claim.
It’s truly tragic when that badly injured person has waited longer than the two years allowed in West Virginia to file a lawsuit. They have forever forfeited the ability to receive financial compensation for those many months of pain, medical bills, surgeries, and lost work income.
Here are the time limits (statute of limitations) in West Virginia for personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice claims.
Statute of Limitations | Time Limits for Lawsuits in West Virginia
West Virginia law provides that you have two years from the date of the incident that caused your injuries to take legal action (i.e., file a lawsuit) against responsible individuals and companies, including insurance companies, to seek compensation for the damages (i.e., your injuries and losses) you have experienced.
If you do not file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations period, your claim will be forever time-barred.
Two years may sound like a long time from now, but believe me, it is not when considering all the things that must be done to secure your legal rights against the responsible parties. Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries.
If the statute of limitations time limit has not passed, we may be able to greatly help your efforts to move forward with your life by discovering all of the details of your case, determining who should pay, and filing a lawsuit if necessary to ensure you received the maximum compensation due to you for your damages and losses.
There are laws that protect you and your family from the consequences of the negligent and wrongful behavior of others who caused your injuries and losses. Your damages, which include your medical and financial losses and obligations, should be paid by the parties responsible for causing your injuries and losses — but they won’t pay, that is, not without a legal battle.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to enforce your legal rights against the wrongdoers that caused your injuries and losses in a fair and professional way to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death.
Time Limit For an Auto Collision Lawsuit
In West Virginia, the law gives you two years to file a lawsuit for any kind of personal injury or property damage caused by someone else’s vehicle. So, that means any lawsuit over car accident injuries or damage to a vehicle or other property — by any driver, passenger, motorcycle rider, bicyclist, pedestrian, or property owner affected by the crash — will be subject to this two-year filing deadline, and the two-year “clock” starts running on the date of the accident.
Death from a Car Accident Claims Time Limit
If anyone was killed as a result of the car accident, West Virginia Code section 55-7-6 also sets a two-year statute of limitations deadline for any wrongful death claim that might be brought by the deceased person’s family. The two-year “clock” starts running on the date of the accident victim’s death (as opposed to the date of the accident itself).
Personal Injury Actions
Personal injury actions must be brought within two years of the date that the injury occurred.
Medical Malpractice Time Limits
Actions against health care providers, with the exception of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, must be filed within two years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred or within two years of the date the injury was discovered. There is an exception for minors is listed below.
Actions against a nursing home, assisted living facility, their related entities or employees, or a distinct part of an acute care hospital providing intermediate care or skilled nursing care or its employees must be filed within one year of the date of injury or within one year of the date the injury was discovered.
In no event may a medical malpractice action be brought more than 10 years after the date of the injury.
Time Limits for Lawsuits Filed for Minors
A cause of action for medical injury to a minor under 10 at the time of the injury must be brought within two years of the date of the injury or prior to the minor’s 12th birthday, whichever provides the longer period. This period is not subject to the 10-year maximum limitation.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, the statute of limitations of two years begins to run on the minor’s 18th birthday.
Products Liability Actions
Products liability lawsuits must be filed within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury or within two years of the date the injury discovered.
A workers’ compensation action must be filed within six months from the time you were injured, three years from the time your doctor informs you that you have an occupational disease, or three years from your last exposure to a hazardous work site condition.
What Could Happen if I Wait to Contact a Lawyer?
The first 60 to 90 days following your auto collision or workplace injury can make or break your case. It is within this shorter time period that necessary evidence and testimony must be secured, treatment rendered and medical opinions obtained.
If you wait until after this time period has passed, and you have not developed your claim properly, it will make the job of even a good lawyer very hard to obtain a full recovery for you.
Worse yet, if you wait until close to the two-year statute of limitations period to consult with a lawyer, it is almost guaranteed that your claim has already been compromised.
West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you need assistance with an insurance claim regarding a personal injury or wrongful death, we can help.
Call the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney:
CALL TODAY 24/7: 304-594-1800
You don’t have to handle this alone.