Legal

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Malpractice Suit?

The statute of limitations on a Malpractice suit is a legislative law. This law sets a time period in which legal proceedings must be initiated. Every state has different procedures for filing a medical malpractice suit. Such cases are also bound by deadlines in which the case should be proceeded and completed. These deadlines are called Statutes of Limitations.

Medical malpractice laws along with statutes of limitations are complex and extensive. Most states have divided such laws into three or four parts for medical malpractice cases. Following is a brief explanation of how such deadlines are categorized and what do they state:

The Standard Deadline

The standard deadline provides victims of medical malpractice a period of two to six years. This time is given to the victim to file a lawsuit after the malpractice has occurred. If the victim does not file a case within this deadline, he or she loses the right to sue the medical practitioner.

This means that if a state provides a deadline of 2 years to the victims of medical malpractice. The victim does not file any case. He or she would then lose the right to sue for medical malpractice.

The Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is the second part of the Statute of Limitations. Countries add discovery rule to the Statute of Limitations for victims who fail to file a suit within the standard deadline.

The discovery rule applies to those who did not know if there was any medical negligence done at the time of treatment or diagnosis. It may vary from state to state, but in general, it provides an extension for the standard deadline rule.

For instance, a person underwent treatment in 2012 and during the operation, the surgeon left a tool inside the patient. It is a clear case of malpractice. However, the patient doesn’t find that the tool is inside, and the surgeon also forgot that. After 5 years, a person feels undergoes some other treatment and gets an x-ray for it. That x-ray then leads to the discovery of the tool inside the patient from the new doctor. According to the state law, for example, the standard deadline was of 3 years. Now the patient finds about this medical malpractice 5 years later. Here, the discovery rule would help him file a lawsuit against the previous doctor.

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Statute of Limitations for Minors

The third part of the statute of limitations is the deadline for children under 18. Most states have different laws and deadlines for minors in medical malpractice cases. This allows their parents or guardians to legally proceed in any case related to medical negligence.

The Statute of Repose

The final part of the Statute of Limitations is the Statute of Repose. Most states have this law which imposes a deadline on victims regardless of when they discover medical negligence. For instance, a state set a maximum deadline of 10 years for any case related to medical malpractice. The victim may or may not claim in this period. Otherwise, they won’t get any exceptions or extensions.

The statute of limitations is a complex set of laws. People looking to file lawsuits against medical malpractice. They should look for certified and experienced solicitors. A no win no fee medical negligence solicitor would be best suitable for such cases to avoid losing money and time.

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