Statute of Limitations Regarding Medical Malpractice in California
The California law about medical malpractice cases is very clear. There are certain limitations that the law puts upon the damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice case. However, it is a sure fact that you will be able to have a valid medical malpractice claim if you can prove that you were harmed by the negligent action of a doctor or health care provider. It is necessary to know about the statute of limitations, or else you might end up making an invalid claim at the wrong time.
Statute of Limitations
There are specific timelines within which one is supposed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, in each of the states. This is called the statute of limitations, and the concerned laws may be very complicated because there are so many deadlines associated with it.
In the state of California, the deadline for filing the medical malpractice lawsuit is 3 years from the day of the injury or one year from the day, the victim somehow discovers the injury. Therefore, if you find that you have suffered injury because of the medical malpractice by a doctor or health care provider, it will be in your best interest to make the claim as early as possible. It is because your claim would not be a valid one if three years have passed from the day of the injury.
Statute of Limitations for Minor Children
It is almost the same for medical malpractices involving minor children. The period of three years from the day of the malpractice is binding in this case as well. However, there is something different for the lawsuits concerning children under the age of six. For them, the claim must be made within three years or before the eighth birthday of the child whichever is the longest.
In the case of minor children, there is an exception that the statute of limitations can be temporarily tolled for any time during which somebody associated with the child has committed fraud associated with bringing of an action on behalf of the child.
Exceptions for the Deadline
There can be certain exceptional situations in which the deadline for the filing of a lawsuit be tolled temporarily. These exceptional situations are
- If any fraudulent works of the health care provider has hidden the medical mistake and
- If the case is because of any foreign object left inside the body of the patient unintentionally (probably during a surgery).