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West Virginia Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

Maybe you weren't thinking of filing a lawsuit after that fender bender on I-79. But if your neck still hurts six months later or the repair shop still hasn't fixed your truck right, you may be thinking of how to get compensated. As it's been some time since the accident, you may be wondering how much time you have left to file a claim for damages. Every legal case has a deadline for filing in court.

Here is a quick introduction to civil statutes of limitations in West Virginia.

Civil Statutes of Limitation

State statutes of limitations laws set the time limit for filing lawsuits and other civil actions. Mountain State statutes of limitations vary from one year to ten years, depending on the type of claim or judgment you have. This statutory “clock" will begin ticking on the date of the incident or, in some cases, the date you discover the harm.

Statutes of limitations are intended to create as much fairness and predictability as possible in civil lawsuits. An injured party, or plaintiff, is given a specific amount of time in which to decide whether to file a legal claim to recover damages. And on the other hand, the defendant won't have an unfinished legal matter hanging over their head indefinitely. Therefore, statutes of limitation set a deadline for legal conflicts so that the parties involved can plan and prepare accordingly.

Statutes of Limitation in West Virginia: At a Glance

The details of West Virginia's civil statutes of limitations are listed below.

Code Section

West Virginia Code § 55-2-101, et seq.: Limitation of Actions and Suits

Injury to Person

Two years (W.V. Code § 55-2-12(b))


One year (W.V. Code § 55-2-12(c))


Two years (W.V. Code § 55-2-12)

Injury to Personal Property

Two years (W.V. Code § 55-2-12)

Professional Malpractice

Two years (W.V. Code § 55-2-12)


Two years (W.V. Code § 55-2-12)

Collection of Rents

Five years (W.V. Code § 55-4-21)


Written: Ten years; Oral: Five years (W.V. Code § 55-2-6)

Collection of Debt on Account

Five years (W.V. Code § 55-2-6)


10 yrs. for foreign judgments (W.V. Code § 55-2-13)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher court (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Resources for Civil Statute of Limitations Laws in West Virginia

Along with other filing requirements, civil statutes of limitations can be confusing, and even a great legal claim could get dismissed if it isn't filed in time. FindLaw's section on Statute of Limitations can provide you with additional articles and resources on this topic.

Get Legal Help with Your Questions About West Virginia Civil Statute of Limitations

Even if you think you have a rock-solid case, if you don't file in time, your case will likely be barred and dismissed by the judge. A West Virginia attorney will know whether the statute of limitations will be tolled due to incapacity or other applicable factors. Get started pursuing your legal claim by contacting a litigation attorney in West Virginia today.

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