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When does the time limit for medical malpractice claims begin?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Many people have heard the phrase statute of limitations, which refers to the amount of time in which you can file a legal claim for an accident or incident. This statute exists for a number of reasons, and it is not concrete. Even if the statute expires, you may still be able to file a claim, though it will likely be more difficult. For some injuries, such as medical malpractice cases, it is not always apparent that an injury has occurred.

Medical procedures are always inherently risky, but the vast majority of doctors are extremely skilled professionals that exercise the utmost care with their patients. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, an error may occur during a medical procedure, but the consequences of the error or even the error itself may take time to manifest. Because of this, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is not as simple as you may think. In fact, there are different interpretations on when the statute of limitations begins.

Some courts contend that the statute of limitations starts to countdown as soon as the negligent act is performed. Other courts do not start the clock until the act actually causes an injury. Still other courts maintain that the statute of limitations time limit does not start until the injured party discovers that he or she was injured.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer about when the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases begins. Even different courts in New York could have different opinions. The best way to be sure of when the statute of limitations begins to count down is to meet with an attorney who understands the law in your area. An attorney can answer these questions and many more to help you gain a better understanding of your rights and what you can expect from your case.