What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice?

How long do you have to decide whether or not to begin legal action after a medical malpractice incident? What are statutes of limitation, and are they different from state to state? How quickly can a lawyer get started after you make the call for representation? Read on for answers.

We here at Pierce Skrabanek encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you have any questions regarding a medical malpractice situation, and the deadlines involved. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you get the information you need, and time is of the essence.

We’ve compiled some general information below on what a statute of limitations means when it comes to your right to seek justice after experiencing medical malpractice.

A man with a graying beard sits in a hospital and watches the clock with concern.

What Is a Statute of Limitations? Why Do They Exist?

A statute of limitations is the time frame set via legislation, designating how long affected parties have to:

  • Take action to enforce their rights, or
  • Seek legal remedy after injury or damage

For example, in Texas where Pierce Skrabanek is located, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years. If two years and one day have passed since the negligent act or omission occurred, you are barred from suing, regardless of what kind of injury it caused or when you found out about it.

You may wonder why statutes of limitations exist. If your injury is persistent, shouldn’t you always have the right to file a legal claim for it? The reason is because the passage of time tends to degrade the quality and amount of evidence available to both sides of a dispute. It protects individuals from having to defend themselves against deteriorated or missing evidence, but it also means that an injured person must act quickly if they want their day in court.

The only action required by you to avoid missing this window is to call a professional attorney, and grant them authority to act on your behalf. Call Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 so we can discuss your medical malpractice situation, and possibly begin representing you right away.

Is There a Statute of Limitations of Medical Malpractice Claims In My State?

Yes, there is a medical malpractice claim statute of limitations in your state. The time limits vary between states, and some have exceptions for certain types of injury. Here are the general minimum limits for each state, but it’s important to get specific legal advice for your circumstances, as these numbers may not apply to your injury.

Statute of limitations infographic of USA

It’s better to err on the side of caution, and contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect you or your family member has been harmed by doctor, hospital, or pharmaceutical negligence.

What Happens if I Miss the Statute of Limitations? Are There Any Exceptions?

If the deadline is missed under your state’s statute of limitations, then you may no longer be entitled to any compensation, regardless of whether your injuries are persistent and your claims valid. This is why it’s so important to contact legal counsel as soon as possible.

However, some states have certain exceptions to their limitation laws.

For example, in Texas, for children injured under the age of 12, their parents or guardians have a window to file before the child turns 14, no matter when the injury occurred. Another exception in Texas: if the negligent act was intentionally covered up, the usual statute of limitations does not apply.

Likewise, other states like Missouri and Virginia have extensions that can go up to 10 years, depending on the circumstances. In Missouri, children have a 10-year statute of limitations, starting either on the date of their injury, or two years after their eighteenth birthday (whichever is later). In Virginia, if a foreign object is found in a patient long after the surgery itself, that is when the clock begins ticking. Injured patients then have one year to file a claim (so long as it’s still within 10 years from the date of the surgery/original injury).

​​As you can see, while the deadlines are often strict, the law still contains exceptions to make sure the injured parties are treated fairly. The best way to make sure you don’t miss your opportunity for justice and compensation is to contact an experienced attorney in medical malpractice cases. Pierce Skrabanek is well-versed in the statutes of limitations in all states, and we are here to advise.

Statutes of limitations on medical malpractice cases exist so they’re judged while the evidence is fresh. Medical malpractice lawyers are here to help assert your rights in a timely manner.

Speak With Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek Today

Medical malpractice lawsuit statute of limitations exist to make sure cases are judged when the evidence is available and testimonies are fresh in the minds of witnesses. Medical malpractice lawyers exist to make sure your rights are asserted in a timely manner.

The offices of Pierce Skrabanek are committed to securing cases for our clients sooner rather than later. We offer both English- and Spanish-language services, and though we’re headquartered in Texas, we deliver nationwide results.

Your time is precious. Reach out to Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 or via our online contact form to empower us to set the ball rolling — we will make sure each deadline is met while you recover and heal in peace.

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