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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: An Overview of the Statute of Limitations in the State of California

Statute of limitations is a legal term that sets a time frame on a person’s right to file a claim about particular cases. Generally, this law is utilized so that there is no unreasonable amount of time before a person takes his or her case to a designated court. In the event that a person attempts to file a claim after the set time frame, he or she will likely lose the opportunity to file the claim. Unless there is an accepted exception, a court will be unlikely to accept the late submission of a claim.

It is worth mentioning that different states have different statute of limitation laws that are specific to different types of cases. Medical malpractice cases are no exception and thus have their own statute of limitations.

If you have been injured in a medical facility or under the care of a medical practitioner, seek the guidance and support of a qualified attorney. An experienced medical malpractice attorney in the State of California will assist your case by ensuring that it is filed in a timely manner.

Medical Malpractice Claims in the State of California

The California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5 establishes the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits. Under direction of this code, gneerally, for adults, medical malpractice cases are thereby mandated to be filed:

  • Within one year (1) after either
  • The person discovers the injury or

○      Through use of rational attentiveness, should have otherwise discovered the injury, or

  • Within three years (3) of the date the injury occurred, whichever event comes first.

Minors’ time limits are different.

To further explain: in the State of California, once a person has learned that he or she was injured due to the negligence of a medical practitioner, the injured person will need to file the claim in the State of California’s civil court system within one year of the initial discovery. In the event that the injured party did not discover the injury until after a several years have passed, he or she will lose his or her legal right to file a lawsuit for the negligence in the State of California.

Claims against public entities (some hospitals, medical entities, government/county hospitals and others) will have even shorter time limits and require immediate attention..

In the State of California, there are exceptions to this law. These are the following:

  • There is an evident proof of fraud
  • There was an intentional concealment
  • There is the presence of a foreign object

The Importance of Obtaining Proficient Legal Support

If you have been injured by cause of the carelessness of a medical practitioner, it is important that you know your rights. A medical injury can leave you with devastating and lifelong consequences that can affect not only you but your loved ones as well. Consult with an attorney who is experienced in the field of medical malpractice right away. Every law can be quite complex and often difficult to understand. A proficient attorney will help you to understand if you have a valid medical malpractice claim.

The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are experienced in the field of medical malpractice claims and can guide you through your available options.  If you have been injures due to the negligence and carelessness of a medical practitioner, speak to a knowledgeable and qualified attorney who can vigorously champion for your rights.  The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin have helped many clients not only file a timely claim but also strategize for a successful case.

Mr. Serrano has been admitted to practice before California State and Federal Courts. He was named to the Super Lawyers’ 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Southern California Rising Stars List, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California each year. View Attorney Jean-Simon Serrano's Attorney Bio Here.

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