Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
If a patient suffers injuries or illness due to substandard medical care, they have the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. The medical malpractice lawyers at Quick Law Group help their Bellevue, WA, clients collect financial compensation for damages stemming from negligent medical care.
One important thing for victims of medical malpractice to be aware of is the statute of limitations. There is a set window of time during which people can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here, we let our clients know what they should understand about the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Washington so they don’t miss out on collecting the compensation they are due.
When Do I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Under Washington laws, the basic statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is three years. That is to say that a person has three years from the date of the injury-causing medical incident to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Like many other types of lawsuits, medical malpractice cases can go on for many months, or even years. Fortunately, the statute of limitations does not dictate that a case needs to be concluded by the time the three-year statute of limitations is up, only that the case needs to be filed in court before the three year deadline.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
There are some unique exceptions to the basic statute of limitation guidelines that our Bellevue clients should be aware of. First, there are times when the injuries caused by medical malpractice are not immediately known. If a patient discovers the consequences of medical malpractice after the three-year statute of limitations has run out, they have one year from the discovery of the illness or injury to file a lawsuit.
The second major exception to the basic statute of limitations is cases of medical malpractice involving minors. If a minor is the victim of medical malpractice, the parents have the right to file a lawsuit on their behalf. The parents would need to file a lawsuit within the standard three-year timeframe.
However, if parents neglect to file a lawsuit, the minor has the opportunity to do so once he or she reaches the age of 18. At the age of 18, the court recognizes that person as an adult who can fully understand the injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Once the medical malpractice victim reaches the age of 18, he or she would have one year to file a lawsuit.
Why Time Matters
Many people look at statutes of limitations as a hinderance, but these guidelines can actually work in favor of our Bellevue clients. Proving medical malpractice requires a great deal of evidence, and it is always easier to gather evidence when the situation is still fresh. We encourage any victim of medical malpractice to act as quickly as possible so that time doesn’t compromise their case.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, the attorneys at Quick Law Group would be happy to review your case. Send us a message online to discuss the details of your situation, or call (425) 576-8150 to schedule a consultation.