First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from negligence, and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either. Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.
One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.
Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.
In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.