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Injured by a State or City-Owned Vehicle? Watch Out for This Little Known Law

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The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident in Virginia. See Va. Code § 8.01-243. However, there is a little-known law that can actually be used to bar legitimate claims of injured folks from being filed against a city-owned or town-owned vehicle. This law could be called the “six month loophole.”

In Virginia, every claim against any county, city, or town for negligence is barred unless you or your attorney or representative files a written statement of the nature of the claim, including the time and place of the injury, within six months after such cause of action accrued. See Va. Code § 15.2-209. Notice of your claim must be filed within the city, county or town attorney or the chief executive of the city, county or town. The notice can only be delivered by hand or by mail, so no e-mail.

There’s a similar loophole for personal injury claims against the State of Virginia. You only have one year after injury to file your written notice of claim and it has to be filed with the State Director of the Division of Risk Management or the Attorney General.

So what does this mean? Well, it means perfectly legitimate personal injury claims can be prevented from getting into court because of insufficient notice. So, for example, let’s say a child is hit by a city-owned vehicle because the driver of the vehicle was texting-and-driving. The child spends five months in the hospital due to a traumatic brain injury. If the parents do not file a notice of claim against the city in the following month, their child’s personal injury claim could be forever barred.

It’s an unfair law, but it’s the law that we have.

The lesson – if you or a loved one get injured in an accident, don’t wait to speak to a Virginia personal injury lawyer. Take the time to either meet with an attorney or speak to them over the phone about the facts surrounding the incident.

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    […] Injured by a State or City-Owned Vehicle? Watch Out for This Little Known Law There's a similar loophole for personal injury claims against the State of Virginia. You only have one year after injury to file your written notice of claim and it has to be filed with the State Director of the Division of Risk Management or the … Read more on Legal Examiner […]

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    […] Continued here: Injured by a State or City-Owned Vehicle? Watch Out for This Little Known Law […]