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The time limits on suing for medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Where improper treatment or negligent medical care has resulted in the injury of a patient, medical malpractice may be applicable. Medical malpractice suits in Indiana are subject to a statute of limitations.

The statutory time frame for medical malpractice litigation in Indiana is two years. This means that injured parties have exactly two years from the day they were injured to sue the health care professional or medical facility. Of course, there are a few exceptions.

What is medical malpractice?

There are numerous forms that medical malpractice can take. For example, it could be an omission to act by a doctor, it could be taking the wrong action or misdiagnosing an illness. However, what must occur in all cases is a significant harm to the patient. A few of the most frequent types of medical malpractice include childbirth injuries, surgical errors, mistakes with anesthesia and delayed diagnosis.

A common theme that runs between most forms of medical malpractice is negligence. Negligent behavior from health care staff or medical institutions can vary in its severity. In a successful lawsuit, the scale of the negligence will typically determine the level of compensation that is awarded.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations

One notable exception to the statute of limitations is where the plaintiff is suing for a sum that exceeds $15,000. Where this occurs, Indiana law states that a submission with a proposed complaint must be sent to a medical malpractice review panel before court proceedings can begin. Consequently, the statute of limitations is “tolled,” meaning that the clock stops running for 90 days after the panel releases their opinion.

Another common exception occurs where the plaintiff was unaware of their injuries until sometime after the negligent treatment. If it can be proven that the patient had no way of realizing their injuries at the time of treatment, then the deadline may be extended.