Generally speaking, there is a 2 year statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit from the time the injured person knew or should have known of the facts that would put a reasonable person on notice to investigate a claim. There are several exceptions, though. This blog will provide some information about the deadline and how it applies.
Statute of Limitations For Children
One of the most important exceptions to the general rule is when a child is injured by medical malpractice. The statute of limitations for a minor (under the age of 18) does not start to run until the child reaches the age of 18. When the child turns 18, he or she has 2 years from their birthday to file suit. This exception does not apply, though, if the medical malpractice lawsuit is for the death of the child. In that situation, the parent or guardian still must comply with the 2-year statute of limitations.
If a child’s parent dies as a result of medical malpractice, the child has 2 years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations For Adults
If an adult is the injured person, he or she must bring the lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the incident (or within 2 years of when a reasonable person would have been put on notice to investigate). This is true whether you are the victim of the medical malpractice, or whether you are the spouse, parent, or child of the victim. As long as you are an adult, the two year deadline applies.
Medical Malpractice Cases Against the Government
Another important exception to the general rule is when the medical malpractice lawsuit is against the state, a state government agency, or a state/county hospital and/or employee. In Arizona, if your claim is against a state run hospital, a state employee, or a state agency, you only have 180 days to file a notice of claim from when you knew or reasonably should have known that medical malpractice occurred. This applies to both adults and children. However, for children, the 180 days starts on their 18th birthday. This deadline is crucially important, as it can often take several months just to get the medical records from a doctor and/or hospital.
What Can Happen If I Miss The Deadline?
Failure to abide by these statutes of limitation may mean you will never be able to recover any money from the doctor or healthcare provider that harmed you. That’s why it is important to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can make sure your case is filed to comply with the correct statute of limitation for your case. The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Snyder & Wenner are ready to represent you. Contact us here or call us now at 602-224-0005.