What to do if the Statute of Limitations has Passed
When you have been injured in a case of medical malpractice, your attorney has probably already informed you of the statute of limitations on your case. This is the time that you have to file a claim before the court says you cannot any longer. The statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases are especially confusing because, in many cases, states have created a multi-part limitation for these specific cases. However, you may actually have longer than you once thought to bring a claim. This is made possible through something known as the “discovery rule.”
What is the Discovery Rule?
The discovery rule acts as an exception to the standard statute of limitations deadline. The purpose of this rule is to give medical malpractice victims the right to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has actually expired. This happens to many people every year because they might not have known that they actually had a medical malpractice claim until the deadline passed. There must be evidence, however, showing that the victim did not actually know that they were experiencing results of medical malpractice. In many states, it will give you a little extra time to bring a case – anywhere from a year to five.
There have been cases in the past where a surgical instrument was left inside a person. For many years, the patient may have had no problems associated with the instrument; however, many years later, they started to feel pain in that area. After an x-ray, it is discovered that a piece of equipment was left inside the patient’s body as a result from that specific operation. The surgeon would be seen as negligent in these cases, which means that the stature of limitations may be extended under the discovery rule.
Every year, accident victims fall victim to the statute of limitations system as well. Because of this, we are willing to help you understand the discovery rule and whether or not it will work in your case. Call us today for more, as we have experience in medical malpractice and are willing to help you.