Posted by Sponsored Post Posted on 15 September 2022

Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice After Years of Treatment

When you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, the first thing you want to do is sue the healthcare professional responsible for the issue. But if you cannot file the lawsuit immediately, you may be wondering whether you can do it years after receiving the treatment. 

In each state, there is a law known as the statute of limitations. This states that you must sue someone within a certain amount of time. It’s the same for medical malpractice. 

In California, doctors and trial lawyers have decided to increase the amount that someone can get from a medical malpractice case. As such, you may want to hire a Petaluma medical malpractice attorney and work on the lawsuit so you do not lose the money you deserve as compensation. 

So, how long after the treatment can you sue someone for medical malpractice? Let’s find out. 

Can You Sue Someone Even If It’s Been Years Since the Treatment?

Yes, you can sue someone after years of treatment if you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice. But even if that’s the case, you have a time limit that you must consider in order to be able to get a lawsuit started. On top of that, it all depends on what state you live in and bring the claim in and what type of injury you’ve suffered after the treatment. 

Basically, you will be able to file a medical malpractice claim at different times according to when the injury occurred. That means that you will have a decent amount of time to sue the responsible party after they caused you harm through surgery or treatment. 

At the same time, you have a maximum of five years after the injury to file the lawsuit. In this case, if you got injured in 2019, you can only make a claim until 2024. 

But after you discover the injury, you only have three years to file the lawsuit. This means that if you don’t know about the injury right away and discover it later, you’ll be able to make the claim later. 

Each state is different when it comes to the statute of limitations, though. In Illinois, for instance, you must file your lawsuit within two years since you found out about the injury. In California, you must make the claim either one year after finding out about the injury or three years after the date you were injured by the healthcare professional. 

What Happens If You File Your Lawsuit Too Late?

It’s critical to file the lawsuit on time, even if you do it one or two years after the injury occurred. The sooner you file, the better. As such, you will not only prevent rushing to make your claim at the very last second, but you will also make sure your claim is accepted by the court. 

If you file the lawsuit after the deadline has passed, the civil court may dismiss the case instantly. 

Can the Deadline Be Extended?

Malpractice case deadlines can be extended, but only in exceptional circumstances, such as:

  • The Healthcare Professional Is Away – If the provider responsible for the malpractice is out of state, then the statute of limitations will be paused until they come back. Of course, you must be able to show evidence that they weren’t in the state during that particular time. 
  • Having a Disability – People who aren’t able to file a lawsuit due to being disabled can have the statute of limitations paused until they become capable of filing the case. 
  • Being a Minor – If the injured patient is a minor, the statute of limitations is different depending on the age of the child and the state. 
  • There Was Fraud Involved – When a healthcare professional was fraudulent while offering the treatment, you can only file a lawsuit after finding out about the fraud. 

Tips to Consider After Being a Medical Malpractice Victim

Are you a victim of medical malpractice? If you want your case to be successful, here are some things you should do after experiencing the injury:

  • Hire a good and experienced lawyer who can help you go through these difficult times.
  • Don’t get additional care from the provider that committed the medical malpractice. Go to a different doctor to get opinions regarding your condition or injuries.
  • Save as many documents related to the damages as you can, including medical bills, pay stubs, communication with the employer, and so on. Also, ask for all the medical records related to medical malpractice. These should be obtained not only from the guilty professional but also from the new one. 
  • Write daily in your journal about the way the medical malpractice incident has affected your life. 

Final Thoughts

It’s important to know how late you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can file at a later date, but you still have a time limit you must respect. However, if you are an exception, you will be able to file even later.

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