Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice

Although being injured or losing someone due to the neglect of a medical professional can throw your life off balance, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations on medical malpractice.

Filing a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind. This is especially true if you are grieving and dealing with the result of a trusted doctor’s carelessness.

It could be quite a while before you are able to consider filing a medical malpractice claim. However, it is important that you do not wait too long.

There are three things you need to know prior to filing that will help you when it is time. They include knowing what medical malpractice is, how long you have to file in your state, and why states place these time limits.

What is medical malpractice?

Malpractice comes in many forms. It occurs when a medical provider does not meet the standard of care. The standard of care is the level of skill and treatment appropriate for a medical condition as established by the healthcare community. If a healthcare professional fails to meet this standard and causes personal injury or death, they may be liable. 

white pills spill out of orange pill bottle after being misprescribed  and leading to a medical malpractice case

Medication errors, failure to treat an illness, nursing home abuse, or surgical errors can all cause medical malpractice. These mistakes can result in physical, brain, or spinal cord injuries and even death. These are only the most common causes and effects.

Why were statutes of limitations created?

A statute of limitations is the time period during which someone can initiate legal action. In some states, if a person does not file suit within this amount of time, he or she cannot do so at all. These limits were placed to do the following:

  • To make potential lawsuits as fair as possible
  • Be sure those who have a claim file a lawsuit in a reasonable amount of time
  • To provide deadlines for legal disputes

What happens in Alabama?

Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations. The two years begin from the date of injury. However, sometimes the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases can be extended. For instance, if someone finds out a medical professional tried to hide the malpractice, the victim has four years to file a lawsuit.

Malpractice can occur in many healthcare environments due to many different things. It can also cause devastating outcomes. Although malpractice happens frequently, every accusation needs to be thoroughly investigated.

Do not discount your right to fair compensation for injuries or losses caused by medical malpractice. Also, do not forget you have a limited amount of time to fail your claim. Courts will dismiss even the strongest medical malpractice lawsuits if you fail to file in time.

If the carelessness or negligence of a trusted medical professional caused you harm, don’t let time slip away. Contact the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Timberlake & League. We can help.