The statue of limitations in a medical malpractice case is crucial in not only having a chance to win the case but also in making sure if you do bring a case forward it won’t be dismissed. If the statue of limitations is up or has passed the case will automatically be dismissed. Since there is a limited time period by which you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case can file a lawsuit, it is important to know when the statue of limitations is up.
Despite the fact that it may seem unfair if you cannot file a lawsuit past a period of time if you forget or are in the hospital, negligent doctors are not exposed to an unlimited period of time when they can be subject to a lawsuit. The statue of limitations rule is fair and does what it’s supposed to. It gives the injured patient time to prepare for and the opportunity to file a lawsuit. In all reality if a patient is not wanting to file a lawsuit within that time then there are usually very few instances when somebody still wants to file a lawsuit years late until they forgot or otherwise did not know what had happened was malpractice. Doctors cannot be exposed to malpractice suits for an unlimited time and if a patient is not aware that malpractice may have occurred there is nothing that can be done. That is why here at the Davis Kelin Law Firm we want to educate potential victims of malpractice so they can exercise their rights before the statue of limitations is up.
There are limitations to the time periods in which an injured patient (or their family) may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a lawsuit is not brought within the statute of limitations or statute of repose, then the case will be dismissed. The purpose of all statute of limitation (and statutes of repose) is to ensure that the defendant has a fair opportunity to defend the lawsuit and avoid the litigation of stale claims. “Limitations periods are intend to encourage plaintiffs to diligently pursue a claim once an injury has been discovered.” Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose help ensure that facts are not lost to our memories, but also provides the negligent doctor with peace of mind that their exposure to a lawsuit is not unlimited. This chapter will explore the various types of statutes of limitations and statue of repose that can apply to a medical malpractice case.
The deadline in which to file a lawsuit depends on the type of claim and the type of defendant. Further, the deadline to file lawsuit may also be extended under limited circumstances discussed below. It is critical to contact an attorney to ensure the statute of limitations are being met. See the chart here which explains the statue of limitations for different kinds of medical malpractice cases.
Now that you are aware of the statue of limitations and why it’s important to file your lawsuit before the statue of limitations are up you are in a good position to decide what to do next. Do you want to find out how much time you still have left to sue? Give us a call at (505) 242-7200. We will work with you to find the best outcome for your case!