California Statute of Limitations for Medical MalpracticeUpdated on Thursday 09th February 2017
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The state of California imposes certain time limits to file lawsuits in personal injury cases. While for most personal injury cases this deadline is two years (if the injury is discovered right away), for medical malpractice cases the statute of limitations is one year after the discovery of the injury or three years after the date of the injury, whichever occurs first. Certain exceptions apply to this rule and our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you file a case for an injury caused by the fault of a medical professional.
Limits on medical malpractice lawsuits
The statute of limitations is the time limit within which the victim has the right to file a lawsuit. After this time has passed, the court will most likely refuse to hear the case and you can lose important compensations that could have otherwise helped you. In most personal injury cases, the victim injured in a car accident, for example, has two years to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. However, medical malpractice is treated differently and it is important for the victim to know exactly how much time he/she has to claim compensations.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is included in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5. According to law, the victim has one year after the discovery of the injury or three years of the date of the injury, whichever comes first. An exception to this rule applies in the case of surgical errors, more specifically those that involve the presence of a foreign object in the body, left behind after a surgical intervention. In this case, the one-year discovery rule is applicable but there is no other time limit.
A different statute of limitations for medical malpractice also applies in the case of minors. According to law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must commence within three years for minors, except for children under the age of six. Their parents have three years from the date of the injury or until they are eight years of age, whichever comes first.
If you have been injured by a medical care provider in California, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will help you file a lawsuit within the same year. Alternatively, if you suspect that you have been injured during a medical procedure and the three year period has not passed yet, we can help you build a solid case and file the lawsuit within the three-year time limit.
Our personal injury lawyers invite you to watch a video about the most important issues regarding the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases:
A medical malpractice injury in California
Medical malpractice can occur during all types of medical procedures and, in order to be able to file a lawsuit against the medical professional who treated you, you will need to be able to prove the professional’s negligence.
In medical malpractice cases, professional negligence is described as the act or omission to act by a healthcare professional, while providing professional services, when this act or omission to act is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death case. The scope of the services provided must be included in the ones for which the medical professional is licensed for and which are not restricted in any way.
For more information about your legal rights in medical malpractice cases, you can contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys.