A Look at the Statute of Limitations on Malpractice Claims

The statute of limitations is important for negligence cases, especially medical malpractice cases. Below, we look at the statute of limitations on malpractice claims and other important legal rules regarding negligence cases, such as mediation and payout limits.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is the law that designates the maximum time allowed between an offense and when a plaintiff can initiate legal proceedings. Statutes of limitations are more common in civil cases and trials such as negligence cases, which include medical malpractice. If a plaintiff tries to sue someone for an offense beyond the statute of limitations, the case will be dismissed on such grounds.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Malpractice Claims?

Negligence laws are very state oriented, so the particulars of the statute of limitations regarding negligence and malpractice cases vary by state. You’ll have to check with the medical malpractice statute of limitations for the state where the offense occurred, but the shortest statute of limitations is one year, while the highest is five years. Most states fall in a two- or three-year window.

In some states, there’s also a different statute of limitations regarding the dates of the occurrence of the injury and the discovery of the injury. So if someone didn’t discover their injury until eight years later, they could still file a malpractice claim in some states.

Do I Need To Go Through Mediation Before Making a Malpractice Claim?

Another aspect of medical malpractice law that plaintiffs and defendants should be familiar with is mediation. In some states, the claimant must request mediation immediately before or after filing the suit, and the claim will be paused while the claimant undergoes mediation with a third party. The parties are not required to agree on a settlement during mediation, but in some states, they must go through the process anyway to see if the claim can be settled before they go to court.

Are There Payout Limits for Medical Malpractice Damages?

Plaintiffs and defendants should also be aware of their state’s payout limits for medical malpractice damages. In some states, there is no cap on malpractice damages, and imposing any caps on negligence claim payouts may actually be illegal. In other states, payout limits are restricted to claims against public health systems. Check your state to see if there are any restrictions on medical malpractice payouts.

Protect Yourself From Malpractice Damages With Baxter & Associates

We hope you’ve found our look at the statute of limitations on malpractice claims helpful and informative. There’s a lot to know about malpractice law, but at Baxter & Associates, we’ll ensure you stay protected. We offer individual malpractice policies and insurance for doctor’s practices for those that need policies to cover numerous health-care providers. Get a quote for malpractice insurance online or contact our staff to learn more about our services today.