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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6422
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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Dentist started two phase program to repair extensive dental work on my wife. Phase one w

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Dentist started two phase program to repair extensive dental work on my wife. Phase one was several implants and crowns paid for after visit one ($20k). Visit two and three were included in visit one expense. Prior to visit three, dentist passed away before completing phase one work.
Not to get into the details of marginal workmanship, what is the staute of limitations in Virginia on filing a malpractice claim or a claim against the dentist's estate? Intent is to recover $ from work not completed in phase one or an amount to redo phase one work that was not properly done.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name isXXXXX very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from this information.


It appears that you may have a malpractice/negligence claim as well as a breach of contract claim for falling to complete the work promised at the third visit.


All medical malpractice actions for injury must be brought within two years from the date the cause of action accrued, which is the date of injury or last act of negligence. Va. Code Ann. §§ 8.01-230 & 8.01-243(A)


The VA Supreme Court holds that continuing treatment for the same conditions tolls the statute until treatment ends. Grubbs v. Rawls, 235 Va. 607, 369 S.E.2d 683 (1988).


SOL on written contracts is 5 years and 3years for oral contracts.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Does this SOL also apply if the dentist has died and his practice has been sold to another dentist. Would my claim be against both his estate and the malpractice insurance company? I'm encouraged by the two year SOL. My atty thought it was only six mos, admitting this was not her field.

Yes, you can sue the dentist's estate within the 2yr limitations period even if the dentist has died. You will need to find out who the executor of the estate is. The proceeds from the sale of the practice are what you can go after.


If the dentist had a malpractice policy, his estate would need to report the claim to the insurance carrier and they would likely hire a lawyer to defend the dentist's estate on your claim. But, you would not sue the insurance company directly.