start Free Consultation

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in West Virginia

February 19, 2024

If you have suffered a significant injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence and want to recover some of your losses, seek an experienced Charleston West Virginia personal injury attorney with Salango Law as soon as possible. As is common in law, West Virginia has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The statute outlines the maximum time to file a civil lawsuit for personal injury damages.

Statute of Limitations in West Virginia

West Virginia has a statute of limitations in criminal and civil law. The timelines vary depending on the type of lawsuit you want to bring to court. For personal injury, the statute of limitations is two years.

Some people may delay seeking representation immediately if they are unsure of their injuries or think they don’t have any. Finances may also be a concern when considering retaining legal support. Thankfully, many law firms provide free consultations and only collect fees once you are able to recover damages.

Personal Injury Defined

Personal injury is an umbrella term in civil law that includes a few kinds of cases. This umbrella can consist of:

  • Premises Liability
  • Car accident injury
  • Product liability

Some examples of this might be a slip and fall accident, injuries sustained in a vehicle accident, or injuries sustained by a defective product.

Understanding West Virginia’s Statute of Limitations

The West Virginia Statute of Limitations allows for two years to file a claim in a personal injury case. This time starts when the accident occurs. This deadline is typically a strict legal deadline, and there is little room for grace, whether due to negligence or not knowing.

One of the few times the clock on the statute of limitations can be put on hold or delayed is for minors. In the case of injury as a minor, the clock starts when the child turns 18 and will end when they turn 20. This adjustment to the statute allows time for them to file the lawsuit on their behalf as long as their parents had not previously accepted a settlement.

The best practice is to stick to the statute of limitations and file your lawsuit within two years of the injury or becoming aware of the injury. If you are close to or have passed the deadline, you should speak with an attorney to see if you may qualify for the rare exemptions.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in West Virginia

Wrongful death can commonly be involved when we talk about personal injury. The statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit against someone for wrongful death is also two years. This starts at the date of death or when the decedent’s representative becomes aware of the death or should be aware through reasonable diligence and when they are aware that someone else’s negligence may have caused the death. It is common for the civil case to be delayed until any criminal charges surrounding the incident have been resolved.

Make the Most of the Time Allowed in West Virginia Statute of Limitations

The personal injury statute of limitations allows two years to file the lawsuit. Any time you and one of our experienced personal injury attorneys spend building your case or negotiating counts against these two years. Collecting evidence and building a strong case can take valuable time, so don’t delay consulting with an attorney.