How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against a Virginia Hospital?

Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to sustain injuries or the loss of a family member due to the carelessness or negligence of a doctor, surgeon, or another healthcare professional at a Virginia hospital. If you went to the hospital with good faith that they would treat your illness or injury, and instead, you experienced additional harm or injury, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your current damages as well as any ongoing or permanent impacts your injury has on your family and your future.

Can I file a Virginia medical malpractice claim anytime I want?

The state of Virginia gives injured victims two years from the day their injury occurred to file a civil lawsuit for medical malpractice. There are, however, a few exceptions that could prolong the amount of time you have to file. If you were a victim of medical malpractice, it is in your best interests to understand all of your options for recovering compensation by working with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. 

When Can I Sue a Virginia Hospital?

medication errors

In order to secure financial compensation for injuries or damages you sustained due to the wrongdoing or negligence of a hospital or another healthcare provider, you will have to prove that they were liable for causing your injury or the death of a family member. 

Medical malpractice comes under the umbrella of tort law, similar to motor vehicle accidents, defective product claims, and premises liability accidents. Sometimes, drug liability and product liability claims can stem from medical malpractice claims, like those that involve faulty medical devices or dangerous prescription drugs.

Most commonly, medical malpractice suits arise from:

  • Diagnostic mistakes, such as incorrect, missed, or delayed diagnoses
  • Inappropriate or negligent care 
  • Prescription drug errors
  • Surgical mistakes 

A medical malpractice claim can derive from any occasion where a healthcare professional injures a patient via carelessness, negligence, error, or misconduct during treatment, diagnosis, or evaluation. If you have been a victim of medical negligence, you are entitled to collect financial compensation for your losses but the time you have to do so is limited so you need to act quickly. 

Statute of Limitations for Suing a Virginia Hospital

Your lawsuit must be filed with the proper Virginia civil court no more than two years from the day your injury occurred. If you fail to meet this deadline, known as the statute of limitations, you will most likely lose any chance you had at being compensated. A two-year statute also applies to cases of wrongful death. If you have not filed your lawsuit within that time frame, the insurance provider has every right to deny your claim, and the court can throw your case out. If this happens, you will have no other legal recourse for recovery.  

In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the clock begins ticking on the day you were injured or the day your family member died, so it is crucial that you consult a lawyer right away in order to help build the strongest case possible and ensure the correct and timely filing of your medical malpractice lawsuit.

It is important to note that Virginia also acknowledges that certain injured victims might not become aware of their injury until a while after it occurred. An example of this would be if the surgeon left a medical sponge inside a patient and they only learned of the mistake when complications began arising. In situations like this, the court has the power to increase the statute. 

Does the Statute of Limitations Apply to a Trial?

No, it does not. The statute of limitations applies only to the amount of time you are given to file your suit with the court. The court could schedule a trial for sometime after the two years, but as long as your suit has been brought before the statute expires, you have met your filing obligation.  

What Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do for Me?

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can greatly improve your odds of achieving a favorable resolution to your case against a Virginia hospital. Medical malpractice is an extremely complicated, specialized area of the law that demands an in-depth understanding of procedures and laws, as well as previous experience dealing with courts and insurance carriers. 

You need a Virginia personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp on your side. We can outline all of your legal options, advise you on the wisest course of action, and work hard to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to after a negligent healthcare professional causes you or a family member undue harm. Call us today at (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free case review. 

Related Content