Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims

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More and more people have begun to depend on advanced medical technologies. However, cases of medical malpractice and negligence have also been on the rise in Virginia and elsewhere in recent times. When a patient is injured because of the negligence of a doctor or medical service provider, oftentimes the approach is to wait before bringing a suit for injuries. This time is often taken by the injured party in order to decide if legal remedies are really what the patient seeks.

However, such matters should be decided on before squandering the precious time that the law requires an injured party to pursue the legal recourse. This is in order to not extinguish their rights by way of being debarred due to the statute of limitation.

The statute of limitation makes it clear that if a party fails to bring the claim within the prescribed time limit, he or she may be barred from bringing the suit, rendering the merits of a case inconsequential. In cases of medical malpractice, courts have taken different stands. In some cases, the courts have held that the time for filing the lawsuit starts when the act or omission constituting malpractice or injury occurred.

In other cases, the courts have held that the time begins to run when the plaintiff discovers his or her injury due to the fault of a medical practitioner. Another view is that the time for filing a suit starts when the medical treatment resulting in the injury has ended.

The court's views are even more varied when the injury results in the death of the plaintiff. It is important therefore to bring the suit as soon as it possible without any delay in order to avoid complications.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Claims," Accessed on Aug. 9, 2014

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