Almost all legal matters are associated with a statute of limitations. That means that those suffering from harm must take action within the time limit. The limits vary from state to state as well as with the type of injury suffered. When it comes to medical malpractice, the time limits are often a lot shorter than they are for other kinds of personal injury cases. To find out more, read on.
What to Understand About the Statute of Limitations
The rules that govern the statute of limitations are meant to provide both the medical facility and the victim with rights. As with all forms of personal injury, medical malpractice evidence can deteriorate or become unavailable after a time. This issue affects both sides of the case. Taking legal action in a reasonable time frame allows the plaintiffs an opportunity to better defend themselves with fresher evidence.
Things can get more complex, however, when you consider how the statute of limitations for medical malpractice has been affected by powerful medical lobbyists. Not only have the time period for acting been shortened, but lobbying efforts has also required victims to go before boards and take other actions before a medical malpractice lawsuit can move forward.
Different Types of Medical Malpractice
Another issue to watch out for when considering the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is the specific type of injury involved. While your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to identify and act quickly based on the information you provide, it might be helpful for you to know about these details. As an example, a common medical malpractice case might involve an accidental amputation of the wrong limb. Others include medical instruments left inside during surgery and damage affecting the ability to get pregnant and carry a baby to full term. Any one of those could have its own statute of limitations to abide by.
An Important Exception to the Rule
All rules have exceptions and the medical malpractice statute of limitations is no different. This exception involves the harm principle and is based on situations where the victim did not know about the malpractice until after the statute had expired. For example, if something was unintentionally left behind during surgery, it could be years for it cause enough problems for it to become obvious. Once you have medical confirmation of the harm done, the statute of limitations once again becomes a factor.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical doctor or facility, speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner you do so, the sooner your case can be settled. For more information contact a personal injury attorney.Share