Medical malpractice is a serious wrongdoing that injures and kills thousands of patients each year. In West Virginia, injured patients have the right to hold negligent physicians accountable for their actions. If a health care practitioner wronged you, you only have a limited amount of time to sue for medical malpractice. 

Although in some circumstances you may be able to file a claim years after treatment, in others, your deadline may be fast approaching. Consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to make sure you understand – and do not miss – your specific deadline to file.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Most Medical Malpractice Claims?

West Virginia Code Section 55-7B-4 states that all legal actions for medical malpractice against a health care provider or employee must be commenced within two years of the date of the injury. It also has a statute of repose of no more than 10 years from the date of the injury. A statute of repose is an overarching time limit on a plaintiff’s right to bring a lawsuit, regardless of when the cause of action accrued. 

For the most part, you will have no more than two years after the date of the malpractice to pursue compensation. This means you cannot wait years after treatment to file. Even if an exception to the rule applies to your case, you must act within 10 years. Otherwise, you can lose the right to file your claim and pursue compensation for good.

The Discovery Rule

West Virginia’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is extended to two years from the date the victim discovers, or should have discovered through reasonable diligence, his or her injury if this date differs from the date of the accrual of the cause of action. This is what is known as the discovery rule.

If you do not discover the injury or illness you suffered due to a health care practitioner’s professional negligence until days, weeks or even years later, you will have two years from the date of discovering your injury to file, rather than the date of the actual malpractice. 

With the discovery rule, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Virginia years after the treatment or care that gave you the injury, or years after your final treatment for the injury in question. Keep the 10-year statute of repose in mind, however, as it still applies to these cases. 

Exception for Child Victims

Another important exception to keep in mind in West Virginia is the exclusion of children who were under the age of 10 when the alleged act of malpractice injured them. When medical malpractice injures a child under the age of 10, that child’s family has 2 years from the date of the injury or until the claimant turns 12 to sue for medical malpractice, whichever is longer. This exception could allow the child’s family to file a lawsuit years after the child’s treatment, depending on the case.

Why It Is Important to Act Quickly

Even if you know you are well within your statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Virginia, do not wait to bring your legal claim. Acting quickly to exercise your legal rights can allow you to build a stronger case by using evidence that has not yet been destroyed or details that are still fresh in the minds of eyewitnesses. 

Acting quickly can also guarantee you do not accidentally miss your statute of limitations – a mistake that could bar you and your family permanently from financial recovery. Although you may have the right to sue for medical malpractice years after treatment, waiting may not be in your best interest. Speak to a West Virginia injury lawyer near you right away for more information about your deadline to file. 

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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