Medical Malpractice And Statute Of Limitations: What You Need To Know
It could be a surgical procedure that goes terribly wrong or a simple procedure in a doctor's office that is not performed efficiently, but medical treatment does sometimes lead to injury, illness, or even death. When you go to see a medical practitioner, you are essentially putting faith in their ability and trust in the fact that they will do their best to ensure your safety. When things go wrong in these situations, you may notice right away, but not always. In fact, it is not uncommon for improper medical treatment to show up as problems a long time later. If you find yourself in this situation, you are bound to have questions regarding the statute of limitations with medical malpractice claims and when it's worth seeking medical malpractice attorney services.
How do you know if you can still file a medical malpractice claim?
The statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims will depend on where you live. In most cases, the state outlines the length of time a patient has to file a legal claim due to medical malpractice or medical negligence. For example, in the state of Illinois, a patient has two years from the date of treatment to file a claim, but in the state of Kentucky, a patient only has one.
What does it mean if your state has discovery rules regarding the statute of limitations?
If the state where you live has a discovery rule contingency on the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim, this essentially means the time you are allowed to file a claim begins when you discover there is a problem and not when the care was provided. For example, if you had surgery several years ago and only recently discovered that a medical instrument was left inside of your body, the time available for filing a claim will go according to when you discovered the problem and not the date of your surgery.
What happens if you don't specifically know which practitioner was at fault for your injuries?
Even if you don't know for certain which medical practitioner caused your injuries because it has been a long time since you were treated, it is important to talk to an attorney. The attorney will help you retrieve past medical records and give you medical provider recommendations to help you find out the root cause of your injuries and potentially which practitioner could be at fault. In most cases, it is easy to determine what caused an injury even if it has been a while.