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Medical Malpractice Claims need to be acted on immediately.
A doctor's mistake that could lead to a medical malpractice claim is not something to sit around and think about. A victim of medical malpractice has a limited time period in which they must pursue their claim or a statute of limitations may take effect. Most states have a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims that is two years from the date of the incident of malpractice. With some states, exceptions may exist under the medical malpractice laws for certain circumstances in medical malpractice claims.
Statute of Limitations
Deadlines Within the First Two Years
A person with a medical malpractice claim should always seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. In certain cases, there may be other deadlines within the first two years that can impact the case. For example, claims against government entities may require that the entity or entities be put on "notice" much earlier than the statute of limitations period. Furthermore, given that a medical and legal analysis must be done prior to filing a lawsuit, one should not wait until the statute of limitations period for a medical malpractice claim is nearing its end or the attorney may not have enough time to complete the review prior to its expiration.
It is also advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible for other reasons as well. Memories of the event or events in question tend to fade in witnesses, and potential witnesses may later become unavailable.
Extended Statute of Limitations
Medical malpractice claims may have an extended statute of limitations for certain individuals, including those who are minors when the malpractice occurred. In certain instances, such as when a medical profession conceals the incident of malpractice, victims that were unaware that medical malpractice took place, and could not have known of the malpractice until sometime after the incident are allotted additional time under the law to file a medical malpractice claim. The exceptions to extending a medical malpractice claim beyond the statute of limitations are fact sensitive and require the analysis of a qualified attorney to determine if they are applicable.
Signing a Consent Form
By signing a consent form you do not waive your rights to a medical malpractice claim, nor does a consent form give the health care provider a license to commit malpractice. While the execution of a typical consent form indicates acknowledgement of certain risks and complications associated with a given treatment or procedure, it does not relieve the health care provider from his or her duty of meeting the standard of care associated with such treatment or procedure.
Contact an Attorney Near You
Any potential medical malpractice claim can be a difficult one to prove. Besides the fact that doctors are not very cooperative when it comes to testifying against their peers, the side effects from a surgery may take years to manifest. If you are experiencing difficulties from a surgery and think you may have a medical malpractice claim, contact an attorney today. An experienced attorney can help organize and expedite your case before the statute of limitations runs out.
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