Q
What is the statute of limitations to file a child's personal injury case in Virginia?

A
In Virginia, an adult (defined as a person over the age of 18) must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the injury. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. There are different statutes of limitations for different types of cases (e.g. contract, property damage, defamation.) If a child has a personal injury case in Virginia, the statue of limitations does not end until his twentieth birthday. Because Virginia law considers a minor to be "under a disability," the statute of limitations is tolled, or on hold during the child's "disability." Therefore, the statute of limitations does not start running until the child is eighteen and when he is no longer considered to be "under a disability." Virginia Code 8.01-8,8.01-229

There is one important exception to this rule. If a child has been legally emancipated, a process which requires a Court hearing, then he is no longer under a disability. If the child is emancipated when the injury occurs, he has two years from the date of injury, or the normal statute of limitations for a Virginia personal injury case. If the child became emancipated after the injury, he has two years from the date of emancipation to file his personal injury lawsuit. These rules apply regardless of whether the child's automobile accident case is pending in Charlottesville or any part of Virginia.

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