A strong argument can be made that the most important thing to know when considering filing a lawsuit is how long you have to file the case. After all, if you wait too long, you lose the ability to file a lawsuit entirely. If you are missing any other piece of information, you may be able to still file successfully, but not knowing your time limit can cost you the entire case. This guide will help you understand how long you have to file a medical malpractice case.
The Statute of Limitations
The legal term for your time limit to file a lawsuit is the “statute of limitations.” It is wise to research what your statute of limitations is, but the smartest decision you can make is to speak with a medical malpractice attorney, like a medical malpractice attorney in Naperville, IL, to get all the information you need about starting your case.
There are three figures that affect your time limit to file your medical malpractice case. The statute of limitations is a bit unusual for this type of lawsuit because medical malpractice is often quite different from other types of personal injury, as it can take months or years to actually discover the injury. If the statute of limitations worked the same way as other lawsuit types, you may not even realize you are injured until the time limit has expired. The three figures for you to know are:
- Your time limit to file
- Your time limit to file after discovery
- Your time limit to file in total
If you discover that you are injured immediately after the injury takes place, then you will have a normal amount of time to file. This is usually two or three years, although the state you live in may have only one year or as many as six.
If the discovery of the injury is delayed until after the normal statute of limitations is expired, then your state will grant you a certain amount of time to file. This amount of time is usually six months or one year, but often longer.
Finally, there is a length of time that is your time limit no matter what, regardless of when the injury is discovered. If you do not discover the injury until after this total time limit has expired, there is nothing you can do. However, this time limit is usually close to 10 years and some states do not have a total limit at all.
If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney immediately so your time limit doesn’t expire.
Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into what the time limit is to file for medical malpractice.