Statute of Limitations
Medical Malpractice, like any case, has a statute of limitations-the amount of time when a patient can begin a case against a doctor or hospital.
In each state, the time frame may look slightly different as they can either focus on how long a patient can wait before they begin a case or the total length of time of the lawsuit. When the medical malpractice occurred, the time begins for a case to be filed. The exception to this rule is when a patient later discovers the damage.
In Rhode Island, patients are given up to three years to hire a RI medical malpractice lawyer and begin their case. Patients who later discover that they were a victim of malpractice are given three years from when the malpractice should have been discovered to file their complaint. If the patient is a minor, the case must be filed before his/her 21st birthday. Rhode Island offers extensions for the standard statute of limitations if the physician knowingly conceals their error, leaves the state, or if the victim is found ‘mentally incompetent.’
Massachusetts allows patients up to three years to hire a MA medical malpractice lawyer and begin their case. In the situations when the patient would not have reasonably known of the malpractice, the state gives the patient three years from the discovery date. Medical malpractice cases concerning minors must be filed up to three years from when the patient’s parents or guardians knew that the treatment caused the injuries. Children under six years old are given the deadline of their ninth birthday for the parents/guardians to pursue a medical malpractice case. Massachusetts also issues a statue where a medical malpractice lawsuit must not continue past seven years from the date of the alleged malpractice if the case does not concern a foreign object being left in the patient’s body. Other exceptions to the statute of limitations are if the physician knowingly concealed their error and/or left the state after the malpractice or if the patient was found legally incompetent.
In Connecticut, patients looking to pursue a medical malpractice case are given up to two years to file their case and hire a CT medical malpractice lawyer. For patients who later discovered their injuries, the state gives them two years from the date they reasonably should have noticed the malpractice. Minors do not have any exception to the statute, which is different than most states. The statute can be extended if the physician covered up their malpractice and/or left the state after committing the malpractice. The state also requires that a medical malpractice case can not continue past three years.
As every state has slightly different regulations concerning medical malpractice cases, there may also be caps on the damages victims can receive. Rhode Island and Connecticut both have no cap on damages. However, in Massachusetts, there is a cap of $500,000 for cases involving general damages like pain and suffering or embarrassment. The only exception to this rule is if the injuries have resulted in permanent disfiguration or serious damage to bodily functions.
If your claim fits within the statute of limitations for your state and qualifies as a medical malpractice case, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Rob Levine & Associates to receive a free case evaluation.