Generally, a patient who is harmed by a health care provider’s negligence in Virginia has two years to file a medical malpractice claim. Similarly, a family member or estate/legal executor for a person who gets killed by a medical error has two years to file a wrongful death claim.
As spelled out in section 8.01-243 of the Virginia Code, an extension to the 24-month statute of limitations can be granted when the case involves
- A foreign object left inside a patient’s body;
- “Fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation prevent[ing] discovery of the injury within the two-year period”; or
- A missed cancer diagnosis,
Depending on the facts of the case, the clock on the medical malpractice statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the medical error, the day when the victim discovered the medical error, or the day on which health problems brought on by the medical error became disabling. Consulting with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney will help you determine if your possible case falls within the statute of limitations.
Note, as well, that Virginia sets special statutes of limitations on medical malpractice claims on behalf of infants and children who are under 18 when an alleged medical error occurs. Contact us for more information.