What is the Limitation Period for a Malpractice Claim?
The statement of claim must be issued no later than A) two years from the date the claim arose B) two years from the date on which a claimant could first have reasonably discovered that the person suffered a malpractice claim C) in the case of a minor, one year after the minor reaches 19 years of age and D) for persons under certain mental disability, one year after the disability ceases. The time periods under B) or D) can be unpredictable based upon the facts of a case and how the law is applied to the case. Generally A) is the limitation period guideline although sometimes in cases C) is used by your lawyer to extend the date to issue the claim.
Consulting a Lawyer after a Medical Malpractice Event
A lawyer should be consulted soon after the medical malpractice event has occurred. You do not have to be committed at the time of your initial consultation with Aylward, Chislett & Whitten to commencing a lawsuit against your doctor. It is not necessary for the doctor to know that you are even considering your legal rights. (Sometimes persons with possible claims wish to maintain the option to continue the patient relationship with the same doctor or other close colleagues of the same doctor.)
The earlier you consult with Aylward, Chislett & Whitten, the better. Necessary information and evidence can be obtained much more readily. If the decision is to proceed with a claim, the defendant is usually put on early notice of the claim. This especially applies in birth injury claims or other claims which result in severe impairment or mental disability. It makes it very difficult to litigate or settle a case if the defendant has known nothing about the claim or had a wrong impression no claim would be made.
You should never rely upon the operation of a limitation period to delay consulting a lawyer. Limitation periods force legal deadlines in the legal process. Limitation periods are not intended to delay consultation with a lawyer.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is general in nature and may not apply to your circumstances. Individual blogs are current as of the date of the blog. The blogs do not constitute legal advice. Aylward, Chislett & Whitten provides legal advice to clients and accepts legal liability only towards persons who are clients of the firm. If you require or believe you may require legal advice in relation to a potential claim, you should consult with this law firm or another law firm.