Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Lawyers Representing Baltimore Residents Harmed by Negligent Health Care Providers

All healthcare providers have an obligation to provide competent care so as not to cause injury to their patients. When a medical professional is negligent, it can lead to lasting impairment or worse. If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence, a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of your case, but it is important to act quickly. In each state, medical negligence cases must be filed within a certain timeframe, and Maryland is no exception. Not only do our lawyers understand the intricacies of Maryland medical negligence laws, but we also have a thorough understanding of the specific legal deadlines that malpractice cases must be filed within.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

The time limit that is placed on your right to file a lawsuit in civil court is set by law and known as the “statute of limitations.” In other words, the statute of limitations is a law that limits the time a plaintiff has to file a claim in civil court. If you try assert a case after the legal deadline has passed, the court will almost certainly dismiss the claim as time-barred, unless an exception applies. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to make sure claims are pursued in a timely manner because by the time stale claims are litigated, the defendant may have lost key pieces of evidence or not have access to witnesses needed for the case. A knowledgeable malpractice lawyer can assess whether you may have trouble meeting this deadline in your case.

Maryland Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Typically, the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases in Maryland begins on the date of the occurrence of the injury. If a doctor left a sponge inside you during surgery, for example, a lawsuit concerning the resulting injuries would need to be filed within a certain amount of time from the actual date those injuries occurred. Under Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code section 5-109, a victim of medical malpractice is required to file within five years of the date of the injury or three years of discovery of the injury, whichever comes first.

While some medical injuries are apparent right away, others take months or even years to become evident, which is why the clock starts to run on the day the patient discovers the injury. It can be helpful to think about it in the following way: the victim is required to file the medical malpractice claim within five years of the date of the injury if that victim is aware of it. If the victim is unaware of the injury, however, then he or she must file is within three years of discovering the injury.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Minors

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Maryland is different for minors than it is for adults. For a minor, the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case is three years from their 18th birthday. In other words, the clock begins to run on the person’s 18th birthday and a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed in civil court by his or her 21st birthday.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Involving Wrongful Death

The unfortunate reality is that many victims of malpractice end up dying due to the medical error or substandard care they receive. If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, the wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death.

Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Baltimore

Medical malpractice can lead to devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, we are here to help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore lawyers will assess your case for strengths and weaknesses, and handle your claim with the utmost diligence. With extensive experience, we understand how to resolve malpractice claims in an effective and efficient manner. Call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.