How long do I have to file a personal injury suit?
Updated: Apr 25
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The importance of filing a lawsuit within 2 years of an Accident
As noted in a recent case, time limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit can be complex. The general statute of limitation in a personal injury case is two years from the date of the accident. This limitation applies in a case where an accident occurs and an injured person dies 4 years after the accident. In a recent case in Richmond, the fact that injured person did not file a lawsuit within the two year limitation barred recover even though the injured person did not pass away until 4 years after the accident. The decedent's estate was not permitted to bring a lawsuit. Cole v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, Case No. 3:19-cv-4, March 8, 2019. In this case, a man was harassed by a group of other men while shopping. When he left the store, the group of men attacked him and caused injuries that lead to a medically induced coma.
He sustained a traumatic brain injury and eventually died. On Aug. 22, 2011, Stuart Cole was harassed by several large men while inside a Walmart superstore in Fredericksburg. Cole informed store employees about the incident and expressed concerns for his personal safety. The plaintiff's family filed suit which was challenged on the basis that the statute of limitations expired within two years of the accident. In the four years between the accident date and his death, the plaintiff did not file an "underlying" lawsuit from the accident.