Under Virginia law, plaintiffs must comply with the statute of limitations when filing a personal injury lawsuit or starting any civil court procedure. The statute of limitations outlines the amount of time a Virginia plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. In most cases, the statute of limitations typically begins when the incident giving rise to the claim occurred. This is often referred to as “accrual” of the cause of action. However, there are specific exceptions to the Virginia statute of limitations that may extend the time a party has to commence a lawsuit. These exceptions depend on the type of accident, plaintiff, defendant, and relevant extenuating circumstances.
Generally, under Virginia law, plaintiffs must bring personal injury, product liability, and medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims within two years of the incident. Property damage and trespass claims must comply with the five-year statute of limitations. Plaintiffs who fail to file an action within the appropriate time limit may risk case dismissal and forego any recourse for damages they sustained.
There are specific rules regarding the statute of limitations for Virginia medical malpractice actions. Virginia medical malpractice lawsuits that arise from, foreign objects left in a patient’s body, fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation, negligent failure to diagnose cancer or malignant tumor, and cases on behalf of children all have specific statutes of limitations. Further, the statute of limitations may be tolled in cases where the plaintiff has had a disability, is incompetent, or a minor, or if the defendant engaged in fraud. Tolling allows plaintiffs additional time to file their lawsuit against a Virginia defendant.
For example, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a case that was filed on behalf of a person who died after receiving treatment for abdominal discomfort. The family asserted that a physician ordered a CT scan for their loved one; however, the hospital failed to administer the scan promptly. When the man eventually received the scan, the radiologists discovered that the man’s condition was dire, and recommended hospice care. The family claimed that the hospital fraudulently failed to disclose the causal link between the delay in the scan and the man’s terminal condition. However, the plaintiffs did not provide evidence that the hospital engaged in fraud, and therefore, concluded that the statute of limitations could not be tolled.
The above case illustrates the importance of complying with the statutes of limitations, as well as the difficulties that can arise when trying to meet an exception to the general rule. Those who believe they were the victim of another’s negligence should reach out to a Virginia injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Have You Been Injured by a Negligent Healthcare Provider?
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries because of a negligent healthcare provider, you should contact the experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorneys at Robinson Law. Medical malpractice cases require a thorough and comprehensive understanding of complex procedural and evidentiary rules. The attorneys at Robinson Law are skilled litigators who possess the experience to handle these complicated matters. Robinson Law clients have recovered substantial sums of compensation for the injuries they sustained. Compensation in personal injury and wrongful death cases often includes payments for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and other related losses. Contact our office for a free consultation by calling 703-542-4008 to discuss your rights and remedies with a Virginia personal injury attorney. You can also visit us online.