image for What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice? | Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice? | Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 5 minutes

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice? | Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

There are a lot of complex, moving parts that can impact a personal injury case, including the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice claims. If you’ve been hurt due to medical malpractice or negligence, you may be confused about the litigation process.

To ensure that all case procedures are met, we encourage you to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorneyCall us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an attorney in our network

Of course, if you’d like to learn a little bit more about the law surrounding statute of limitations requirements, read on! 

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is an important concept in all lawsuits, not just medical malpractice disputes.  Failure to abide by the statute of limitations can lead to your case being automatically dismissed, and you being unable to pursue any further legal action. It is critical to avoid violating the statute of limitations. 

What are Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations? 

Simply put, the statute of limitations is a deadline that applies to your legal claims. The length of this deadline period varies from a case by case basis, and even, between states. 

A medical malpractice claim in California has a statute of limitations of three years, which starts counting from the injury date. By contrast, wrongful termination claims in New York have a statute of limitations of just 300 days, which starts counting from the date of termination. 

If you do not file your claim before the deadline passes, then you relinquish your legal right to sue and recover damages. In other words, you’ll have lost your opportunity to obtain compensation under the law! 

Work With an Attorney for Medical Malpractice Early 

The statute of limitations is just one example of a procedural matter that could have a significant impact on your case.  As a non-lawyer plaintiff, you may not even be aware of all the procedural issues that could undermine your claims! For this reason, it’s critically important that you work with an attorney as early as possible. 

See, an attorney isn’t just a courtroom advocate. They play a comprehensive role throughout the litigation process: from investigating the facts of the case and gathering evidence, to negotiating with opposing counsel and eventually filing and arguing your case in court. 

Read More: What does a personal injury lawyer do?

It is your attorney’s job to ensure that your case is taken care of appropriately, which includes meeting the statute of limitations deadline. They are required to do their due diligence to ensure that potential claims are identified, and filed, before the deadline passes. So, choosing the right attorney is key.

Is There a Way Around Statute of Limitations?

If the statute of limitations has already passed, are you out of luck? Not necessarily. 

In most jurisdictions, there is something called the “Discovery Rule.” This works as an exception to the statute of limitations deadline, expanding it under very specific case circumstances. 

How Does Discovery Rule Apply?

Under Discovery Rule, the statute of limitations deadline does not begin to “countdown” until you have actually become, or should have become, aware that there is an actionable legal claim. We know, this is a lot of legalese, so here is an example for application and to simplify. 

What is an Example of Medical Negligence in the Medical Field?

Suppose that you go to the doctor for a diagnostic checkup, because your back hurts. The doctor does a cursory check, and doesn’t ask many questions. Assuming your back pain is simple, he prescribes some basic pain medication. He orders no additional tests and does not refer you to a specialist, despite your explanation of unique aspects to the back issue. They are: dull pain, no history of back pain issues, and so on.

Three years later, you discover cancer that started in your back. There would have been no way for you to know that the first doctor was wrong, but he was. That doctor was negligent, and thereby committed medical malpractice. At the surface level, it would seem that your statute of limitations deadline has already passed, as it has been 3 years since the appointment. However, the discovery rule allows you to start the countdown when you became aware that the doctor committed medical malpractice. Thus, your deadline would still be active, and you could file the claim. 

Do I Have a Case?

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

Have you been harmed by a medical professional due to their negligence, recklessness, or even intentional misconduct?  If so, the law may entitle you to significant compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys can help. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation.

How Can a Lawyer for Medical Malpractice Help?

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys committed to working with injured clients who are interested in pursuing claims against those who harmed them. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation. Connect you to an experienced personal injury attorney in just 10 minutes or less

Additional Questions on Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury:

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