I'm 38, live in Virginia and was diagnosed with late stage Lyme Disease in November, 2009 when my left knee was massively swelled (I have been told by my doctor that I will probably need replacement in the future although the knee is fine now). I also ended up getting a severely swollen elbow that, despite over two years of treatment, I have just been told it needs to be replaced. When talking to the Infectious Disease doctor in 2009, he asked if I had ever been bit by a tick a few years earlier and I told him I did go to a dermatologist in 2007 with a red circle on my leg and told the doctor I was afraid it could be Lyme Disease. The dermatologist's response was the it was just dermatitis; he gave me some cream and said it would go away in a week. I read that the statute of limitations in Virginia is two years. However, with the on-going treatment and the latest news that I have to have my elbow replaced (which is rare I have been told), does the statute of limitations still apply and do I have any malpractice case against the dermatologist?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Virginia
Other than trying to get my medical records from the dermatologist for the past six weeks but they still haven't provided them despite three calls.
Under VA law, while the statute of limitations is indeed 2 years, the courts have held that as long as you have been continually being treated for this condition by the doctor for the same conditions tolls the statute until treatment ends. Grubbs v. Rawls, 235 Va. 607, 369 S.E.2d 683 (1988). Thus, you have 2 years from the date you were last treated for this to file suit for malpractice. You will also need to have a medical expert agree that this is malpractice. Perdieu v. Blackstone Family Practice Center, Inc., 264 Va. 408, 568 S.E.2d 703 (2002). Under VA law, in order to testify as an expert on the standard of care a witness must demonstrate expert knowledge of the standards of the defendant’s specialty and have had an active clinical practice in either the defendant’s specialty or a related field of medicine within one year of the date of the alleged act or omission. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-581.20.
I hope you found my answer helpful, but please understand that if you did not get all of the information you may have wanted to use the CONTINUE CONVERSATION/REPLY button and we are happy to continue working with you to get you all of the information you require. Kindly remember to only rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate "Helped a little" or "I expected more” (bad service or poor service), please stop and reply to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I was able to explain your concern to your satisfaction.
Please click the THREE STARS/POSITIVE FACES OR BETTER so that we can get good feedback for working with you.
If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.
Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.
PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.
There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.
Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).