If you've been harmed by the negligent actions of others, you only have a limited amount of time to take action. If you were harmed by the actions of a doctor or a medical facility, that might be considered a civil tort. All personal injury situations must abide by a statute of limitations. Read on to learn more about what this statute might mean to your case.
Why Do the Statutes of Limitations Punish Victims?
If you've been harmed and did not understand how the statute of limitations worked, it can certainly feel like a personal attack. It's bad enough to be suffering from the negligent actions of a doctor or facility, but now you have no way of making them pay. While it may be difficult to understand, there are good reasons why the law imposes a time limit on taking legal action, and it's for the protection of both you and the other side. Fairly new incidents come complete with good, reliable evidence, such as eyewitnesses. As time passes, evidence weakens and is lost along with memories of what happened.
The Discovery of Harm
While it's important to understand about the time limit for filing medical malpractice cases, there is an exception to note. It would be unfortunate for those who are owed money for a medical issue to think that it's too late to take action. The exception revolves around harm that was done but was not discovered until later on. For example, imagine this: You had abdominal surgery several years ago. Unbeknownst to you, the surgeon left a clamp or other medical implement inside you. Now, four years after the surgery, you are in pain and an X-ray has revealed that surgery will be required to remove the item. Even though the statute of limitations in your state has expired, your recent discovery of the harm done is what starts the clock ticking and not the act itself. Once you know, you must now abide by the statute in your state and take action. Speak to a medical malpractice attorney right away to preserve evidence of the situation.
Medical Malpractice and Separate Statutes
Even though medical malpractice is a type of personal injury, it may have separate statutes in your state. Some states separate this form of harm from car accidents and other torts due to the specialized nature of the area of civil torts. It's not enough to ascertain what the statute of limitations is for personal injuries; be sure to check on the statute of limitations for medical malpractice as well.
To get help with your case, speak to a personal injury lawyer—even if you think it's too late.
When my ex-husband decided to contest my choice to homeschool our children, I knew that I had to defend my right as the custodial parent. Our custody agreement gave me authority over educational decisions, but he still took me to court. I spent a lot of time working with an attorney to find out how best to handle it, and I did a lot of research on the laws as they applied. If you're trying to defend your educational choices amidst your divorce, this site may help. I've built it to share everything I learned and explain the process that I went through to secure my rights.