Different rules govern different types of cases. The statute of limitations
(time limit for filing a claim in court) in West Virginia for a negligence
claim is two years. The limitations period starts to run when the cause of
action arises, the plaintiff knows, or by the exercise of reasonable
diligence should know that the plaintiff has been injured, the identity of
the entity who owed the plaintiff a duty to act with due care and who may
have engaged in conduct that breached that duty and that the conduct of that
entity has a causal relation to the injury.
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is sometimes complicated and
you should consult with a West Virginia lawyer immediately if you are
concerned about that you are approaching the time limit for filing a claim.
To illustrate this point, in West Virginia, the statute of limitations for
breach of a written contract is ten years. The time limit for breach of an
oral contract is five years. The limitations period starts to run when the
breach of contract occurs, or when the act breaching the contract is
discovered. However, the limitations period for a sales contract under the
Uniform Commercial Code is four years.
The statue of limitations for an insurance bad faith case in West Virginia
is one year for a bad faith claim based on a common law theory or a
statutory theory under the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act.
It is impossible in this space to set forth the rules that apply in all
cases. Where injury does not manifest itself for many years after an event
or exposure (such as during a period of latency after exposure to harmful
chemicals) the statute of limitations may not run for many, many years.