Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 4. Limitations of Actions
7/26/2017

§ 8.01-243. Personal action for injury to person or property generally; extension in actions for malpractice against health care provider.

A. Unless otherwise provided in this section or by other statute, every action for personal injuries, whatever the theory of recovery, and every action for damages resulting from fraud, shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.

B. Every action for injury to property, including actions by a parent or guardian of an infant against a tort-feasor for expenses of curing or attempting to cure such infant from the result of a personal injury or loss of services of such infant, shall be brought within five years after the cause of action accrues. An infant's claim for medical expenses pursuant to subsection B of § 8.01-36 accruing on or after July 1, 2013, shall be governed by the applicable statute of limitations that applies to the infant's cause of action.

C. The two-year limitations period specified in subsection A shall be extended in actions for malpractice against a health care provider as follows:

1. In cases arising out of a foreign object having no therapeutic or diagnostic effect being left in a patient's body, for a period of one year from the date the object is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered;

2. In cases in which fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation prevented discovery of the injury within the two-year period, for one year from the date the injury is discovered or, by the exercise of due diligence, reasonably should have been discovered; and

3. In a claim for the negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor, cancer, or an intracranial, intraspinal, or spinal schwannoma, for a period of one year from the date the diagnosis of a malignant tumor, cancer, or an intracranial, intraspinal, or spinal schwannoma is communicated to the patient by a health care provider, provided that the health care provider's underlying act or omission was on or after July 1, 2008, in the case of a malignant tumor or cancer or on or after July 1, 2016, in the case of an intracranial, intraspinal, or spinal schwannoma. Claims under this section for the negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor or cancer, where the health care provider's underlying act or omission occurred prior to July 1, 2008, shall be governed by the statute of limitations that existed prior to July 1, 2008. Claims under this section for the negligent failure to diagnose an intracranial, intraspinal, or spinal schwannoma, where the health care provider's underlying act or omission occurred prior to July 1, 2016, shall be governed by the statute of limitations that existed prior to July 1, 2016.

However, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to extend the limitations period beyond 10 years from the date the cause of action accrues, except that the provisions of subdivision A 2 of § 8.01-229 shall apply to toll the statute of limitations in actions brought by or on behalf of a person under a disability.

D. Every action for injury to the person, whatever the theory of recovery, resulting from sexual abuse occurring during the infancy or incapacity of the person as set forth in subdivision 6 of § 8.01-249 shall be brought within 20 years after the cause of action accrues.

E. Every action for injury to property brought by the Commonwealth against a tort-feasor for expenses arising out of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle shall be brought within five years after the cause of action accrues.

Code 1950, § 8-24; 1954, c. 589; 1973, c. 385; 1977, c. 617; 1986, cc. 389, 454; 1987, cc. 294, 645, 679; 2008, c. 175; 2011, cc. 617, 641; 2013, cc. 551, 689; 2014, c. 586; 2016, c. 190.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.