A: Every claim must be settled or filed in court within a particular period of time from the date of the injury. This period of time is called the “statute of limitations.” Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and from claim to claim. Car accident claims are the most common claims presented to personal injury lawyers. Generally, you must settle or file accident claims in Virginia within two (2) years of the collision, and in the District of Columbia and Maryland, within three (3) years of the accident, except in the District of Columbia a wrongful death claim must be filed within one year. The statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases, intentional harm cases, or any case in which the injured person is a minor, are more complicated. It is always advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer if you think you have a claim.