Personal Injury Lawyer
The law has specific deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. Called the statutes of limitations, the rules regarding medical malpractice lawsuits can be quite complex. Typically, you have two to six years from the actual incident as the standard deadline, but it depends on the laws in your state. However, there are some exceptions.
When Medical Malpractice Is Discovered
Sometimes, medical malpractice isn’t realized until later. Maybe your doctor diagnosed you with one disease, but you didn’t even know that it was a misdiagnosis until a year later. When does the statute of limitations begin? In most places, the statute of limitations starts when you discovered that you were a victim of malpractice, not when the first diagnosis occurred. The legal concept is defined a little differently under the law in every state, though.
Statute of Limitations With Minor Children
Minor children often have a separate deadline for medical malpractice claims. Parents may be able to file a claim for minor children, but in some states, the child may be able to file a claim after he or she turns 18 if the parent or legal guardian never did. The statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the child is of age. This is also governed by state law and it can depend on many factors.
Statute of Repose
The statute of repose is often referred to as a nonclaim statute. Essentially, it’s a law that is like a drop-dead deadline. Not every state offers a statute of repose, and there may be many elements that determine whether your claim qualifies under the law. You may have up to 10 years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, regardless of discovery or other legal implications. After that, there’s no going back.
Filing a Lawsuit Doesn’t Mean You’ll Have To Go to Court
Filing a lawsuit simply protects your rights to your lawsuit. It doesn’t mean that your case will go to court and your injuries will be out in the open for everyone to know. Once your lawyer files a lawsuit, generally, he or she will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement outside of court to compensate you for your injuries. Both sides know that it’s expensive to take the case to a courtroom and let a judge or jury decide.
Demonstrating medical malpractice under the law isn’t always easy. Your attorney can help you assess your claim and present evidence to show that you have a serious case.