Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical Malpractice Laws

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How Long is The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Statutes of limitations vary according to state (see chart below) with the typical range being anywhere from 6 months to 4 years from the initial time of the injury. However, it should be noted that individual states often provide exceptions to these stipulations which can be dependent upon the injured party’s age or disability.

Additional provisions are often made concerning the discovery rule which allows for the statute of limitations to begin at the time a patient discovers their injuries in lieu of when the injury first occurred.

Filing a Malpractice Claim

There are distinct differences between filing a medical malpractice claim and actually obtaining a favorable civil award against a medical professional. Proof in the form of evidence and expert testimony is usually required in order to take legal action, and these types of claims can sometimes be difficult to prove.

Those who feel they have sustained injuries resulting from medical malpractice or negligence are encouraged to seek the assistance of an attorney experienced and knowledgeable regarding these types of claims. Such a legal professional can assist their clients in obtaining all the necessary evidence and paperwork, as well as filing the claim accurately and in a timely manner.

Contact us if you feel you or a loved one has a medical malpractice claim.

Settlements and Awards

It is not unlikely, due to the costs related to court fees and time invested, that lawyers representing both sides of the claim decide to settle the claim outside of court. Typically in regards to malpractice claims there are two types of awards or damages a plaintiff can receive. The first is considered direct compensation for medical bills, other related expenses, and lost wages.

The second is referred to as punitive damages, which account for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or grossly negligent behavior on the part of the medical professional.

Cases of medical malpractice generally include an incorrect diagnosis, the neglect associated with recognizing symptoms related to serious health issues, or delivering a late diagnosis. Those patients who typically file successful claims are those in which they have suffered serious, sometimes fatal consequences resulting from these actions.

Malpractice Statute of Limitation Times – State by State is pleased to offer this summary of United States medical malpractice laws, which we hope will be of assistance in analyzing medical malpractice risks in each of the fifty states. This state-by-state synopsis includes legislation and case law on subjects of importance to medical malpractice injury victims and counsel, including the statute of limitations, damage caps, and local laws of joint and several liability.Medical malpractice has been traditionally regulated by the states in which they have addressed issues regarding court procedures, victim compensation, civil liability, malpractice insurance, medical professionals’ apologies to patients and their families and related matters. Under state law, a patient may pursue a civil claim against physicians or other health care providers, called medical liability or medical malpractice, if the health care provider causes injury or death to the patient through a negligent act or omission.To recover damages, the patient must establish: (1) The physician owed a duty to the patient; (2) The standard of care and that the physician violated that standard; (3) A compensable injury; and (4) The violation of the standard of care caused the harm suffered by the patient.

From Initial Time of Injury

Time Period
Time Period
Alabama 2 – 4 Years Mississippi 2 or 7 Years
Alaska 2 Years Montana 3 Years
Arizona 2 Years Nebraska 2 Years
Arkansas 3 Years Nevada 2 or 4 Years
California 1 or 3 Years 3 Years
Colorado 2 Years New Jersey 2 Years
Connecticut 2 or 3 Years New Mexico 3 Years
DC 3 Years New York 2.5 Years
Delaware 2 Years 3 – 10 Years
Florida 2 or 4 Years 2 Years
Georgia 2 Years Ohio 1 or 4 Years
Hawaii 2 or 6 Years Oklahoma 2 Years
Idaho 2 Years Oregon 2 Years
Illinois 2 Years Pennsylvania 2 Years
Indiana 2 Years
Rhode Island
3 Years
Iowa 2 Years 3 Years
Kansas 2 Years 2 Years
Kentucky 1 Year Tennessee 1 Year
Louisiana 1 Year Texas 2 Years
Maine 3 Years Utah 2 Years
Maryland 3 or 5 Years Vermont 3 Years
3 Years Virginia 2 – 10 Years
Michigan 2 Years Washington 3 Years
Minnesota 4 Years 2 Years
Mississippi 2 or 7 Years Wisconsin 3 Years
2 or 10 Years
Wyoming 2 Years