We grant the highest level of trust to medical professionals, so it is particularly unsettling when mistakes are made by those professionals, or treatment is inappropriate or sub-standard. In a legal sense we think of professionals as having certain duties, to act within a certain standard of care. So under a malpractice action, a plaintiff must prove a breach of these duties, that the medical professional acted in manner that was inconsistent with a generally accepted standard of care. Expert opinions are most often needed to establish a malpractice claim, so plaintiffs should be sure to seek second and third opinions when medical negligence is less than clear.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
The standard Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice claims is 3 years, which means that an aggrieved party must file a lawsuit within 3 years of the malpractice. If this deadline passes and no suit has been filed, such party would be barred from filing that malpractice suit unless they can claim an exception.
Exceptions for Standard 3-year Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
Where plaintiffs are incapacitated , or insane, the deadline may be delayed.
Statute of Repose for Medical Malpractice Claims
Where the statute of limitation sets a deadline for filing suit, and is subject to numerous exceptions, statutes of repose act to permanently bar suit after a longer period, 7 years. Under this far more restrictive test, only one exception applies, where a foreign object is placed within the body.
Starting a Medical Malpractice Claim
Assuming that one's action is timely under statutes of limitation and repose, a medical malpractice plaintiff must then comply with procedural requirements in filing suit.
Damages, Limitations and Exceptions. More Here.
This limitation does not apply when plaintiff is substantially disfigured by the breach, suffers substantial loss of body function, or a finding that the limitations would prevent the plaintiff from getting just compensation for their injuries.
While this discussion may contain notes and opinions on the law, it does not constitute legal advice, or create an attorney-client relationship with readers. Readers should consult an attorney before making any major decisions on issues noted here.
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