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Why does Virginia impose a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims?

Succeeding with a claim for a preventable injury or wrongful death requires presenting a great deal of evidence that can be lost, destroyed or damaged as time passes. This is especially true with medical malpractice claims, which can depend on biological samples and paper records and notes that health care practitioners and facilities cannot keep forever.

Additionally, memories fade, people move or pass away, and drawing a direct connection between a medical mistake and an adverse health outcome becomes impossible after a certain time. Essential testimony will not be available if a patient waits too long to file a malpractice claim. Even more importantly, waiting too long will give the defendants in a medical malpractice stronger grounds for arguing that the patient’s current health problem resulted from some cause other than alleged negligence.

EJL

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia