The Timing of a Medical Negligence Claim
The majority of medical negligence cases must be correctly filed within two years of the date of the medical negligence. Cases involving minors (those less than 18 years of age) or incapacitated persons may be extended under certain circumstances that are well known to attorneys experienced with such claims. Caution is in order when considering any delay in presenting a medical negligence claim because of the fact that even when pursued immediately some delay is built in. Before any viable case of medical negligence can be brought, we must acquire voluminous medical records, set up the appropriate estate representative, and seek expert medical review by one qualified to render an opinion addressing the standard of care, its breach, and the medical/personal consequences. Many meritorious medical claims are lost through the failure to timely pursue them or bring them to the attention of a medical negligence attorney.
If you fail to bring in the case within the required time period, you will completely lose all opportunity to bring the claim. This is true no matter how clear-cut the medical negligence may be. Many times we are faced with prospective clients that are sad to learn that they waited too long to do anything and lost the opportunity to bring the claim.
Even with cases having merit, if you wait too long during the period you may face being denied qualified legal representation because of the lack of remaining time to accomplish those important tasks needed to evaluate the claim before suit can even be filed. Immediate action likewise proves invaluable in making certain that the appropriate witnesses and evidence are identified. Many people choosing to delay are disappointed to find that important witnesses are not fully identified within the medical record as they might have expected, or that by the time the case is being investigated the witnesses are no longer available (through death, moving out of state, etc.).
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