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File a claim as soon as possible to avoid running out of time

If you're hurt by someone in the medical community, there is a chance that you can file a medical malpractice claim. If you decide that you want to do so, then you need to understand the time limits that are in place. If you do not file your lawsuit within a certain time frame, you may lose your right to do so forever.

Statutes of limitations apply to medical malpractice cases. Usually, these limitations are shorter than other kinds of cases, so it's important to start your case as soon as possible once you know you want to file a claim. Every court views the statute of limitations a little differently, so some may argue that the time limit begins once the injuries are recognized as being from the medical error while others start the time limit from the moment you should have known about the injury. Others believe the time limit begins as soon as the actions to cause the error took place.

Things may get more complicated if someone dies from his or her injuries, since the family may have a malpractice lawsuit or could have a wrongful death lawsuit. The courts have to determine which one applies and then decide on the applicable statute of limitations.

The last thing you want to find out is that you've run out of time to file a claim. In some cases, your attorney can argue to have the statute of limitations ignored, which could help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. In other situations, it's best to file as soon as you can to avoid the statute of limitations taking away your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Claims," accessed Sep. 05, 2017

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