All states have laws that provide time limitations on how long an injured person has to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some states have a very short limitations period of one year, while other states have up to four or more years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, some states have special rules that can extend the statute of limitations period for medical malpractice cases, one of which is termed the “discovery rule.” What this means is that in some states, the limitations period may not start until injured individuals discover or learn that their injuries are the result of medical malpractice.
Moreover, most states have special rules that apply to minors who are the victims of medical malpractice. The rules for minors apply in birth injury cases as well as cases involving any injured individual under the age of eighteen. While all states are different, most states allow injured minors to wait until after their eighteenth birthday to pursue a medical malpractice case. With some birth injuries, the extent of damages may not be known or quantifiable until a child is older. As such, strategically, some families and their lawyers wait until a child is older to determine the progression of his or her injuries, and what prognosis to expect.
When the injury at issue in a medical malpractice case is death, the type of lawsuit loved ones of a deceased patient file is a wrongful death lawsuit, which is governed by different rules than a medical malpractice case involving a client who is alive. In most states, the statute of limitations period for wrongful death claims – whether the case pertains to medical malpractice or not – typically begins to run on the day a person dies. Statutes of limitations are very strict laws, and because all states are different, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine what law will apply in a given case.
If your baby was harmed by medical malpractice, you could be qualified to file a lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for damages.
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