If you suspect your child suffered a childbirth injury due to medical malpractice, it might be difficult to know when to contact a birth injury lawyer. You should contact an attorney as soon as you realize a birth injury occurred and you think someone else might have been responsible. A birth injury lawyer can help you file for medical malpractice and try to recover damages from the responsible party. However, if you wait too long to contact a lawyer, your window to take legal action could close.
A birth injury malpractice lawyer from Medical Malpractice Help can help you make sense of your state’s laws and ensure you do not wait too long to sue. We help victims of medical negligence across the U.S. pursue justice. Call 888-526-8947 for a free case evaluation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
All 50 states have statutes of limitations for filing a birth injury lawsuit. A statute of limitations establishes the time limit you have to file a lawsuit. If your state has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice, for example, you would have two years from the date of the birth injury to take legal action. If you fail to do so within that time, you cannot sue—even if you can produce irrefutable evidence that the doctor or liable hospital acted with negligence.
The Statute of Limitations in Your State
The statute of limitations varies from state to state. Many states also have caveats, exceptions, or stipulations that could apply to your case. For example, the victim’s minority and instances of fraud may extend the statute of limitations.
Keeping up with all these legal intricacies is part of a birth injury lawyer’s job. Our attorneys can review the circumstances of your case and make sure it does not get compromised by any obscure legal provisions. To minimize the chance of issues, you should contact us as soon as possible after a birth injury.
What Is the Discovery Rule?
Unfortunately, many malpractice victims do not realize right away that an injury occurred. Sometimes, an injured patient knows about an injury but is not aware that someone else is responsible for it. In cases like these, the discovery rule might apply.
In some states, the statute of limitations does not start running until you become aware of an injury and suspect that someone else was at fault. These states are called discovery rule states, as the statute of limitations only begins when you discover the injury.
If your child’s birth injury occurred in a state with no discovery rule, the clock starts ticking on the day the injury happened, regardless of whether you were aware of it. We can explain the laws of your state and help you navigate them.
What Is the Statute of Repose?
A statute of repose is an absolute time limit on filing a claim. It rarely has any exceptions or caveats, and it can even override the discovery rule. It usually starts running when the injury occurs, and once it runs out, you cannot file a lawsuit.
How These Time Limits Could Impact Your Case
Here is an example of all three rules in action. Suppose a state has a two-year statute of limitations, a discovery rule, and a five-year statute of repose. Your child suffered a birth injury on January 1, 2018. However, you did not learn that the injury happened due to medical malpractice until January 1, 2022. Since the state has a discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations does not start running until the date of your discovery. In this example, the statute of limitations would not expire until January 1, 2024.
However, since the five-year statute of repose started on the date of the injury. In this case, it would expire on January 1, 2023—one year before the statute of limitations runs out. If you do not file your suit before the statute of repose expires, you will lose out on your right to take legal action.
How Can I Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer Today?
If this all sounds confusing to you, you are not alone. These statutes trip up thousands of plaintiffs every year, preventing them from seeking the justice they deserve. A birth injury lawyer from Medical Malpractice Help can make sure that does not happen to you.
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