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Archive for October, 2011

The U.S. Constitution says all powers not spelled out in the Constitution are reserved to the states. If the Constitution does not give the Federal Government authority to control something, it comes under state control. Health law comes under s

tate control, and each state makes its own laws and rules, concerning medical malpractice and dental malpractice.

The following is a list of state time limits, or statutes of limitations, which has been abbreviated. You can see what the statute is in your state; however, the laws do change, and there are important exceptions to the rules. In some states, the courts allow different time limits than those set

by law. In the states that use the hybrid rule, the time limit is an absolute deadline, and your case must be dismissed, if you are even one day late. In states that balance the equities, your lawyer may obtain an extension from the judge, but it is a needless risk that you should not run.

The Rule Is: Whether you live in a state that uses the hybrid rule or one that balances the equities, file your lawsuit early and avoid the deadline. If there is any question about the time limit in your case, do not try to figure it out yourself – consult a lawyer.

State Statutes of Limitations in Medical Malpractice and Dental Malpractice:

Alabama – 2 years from injury or discovery; 4 years absolute limit. Minors under 4 years have until 8th birthday.
Alaska – 2 years from injury or discovery. Two years + 1 day of a minor’s 18th birthday.
Arizona – 2 years from injury. Statute tolled if claimant is under 18, mentally incompetent, or imprisoned.
Arkansas – 2 years from injury. Minors under age 9 have until 11th birthday.
California – 3 years from injury or discovery; statute tolled by foreign object concealment. Minors under 6 have until 8th birthday; outside limit 4 years.
Colorado – 2 years from discovery; other types of disability until 2 years after termination; statute tolled by concealment. Minors under 6 have 2 years after 6th birthday.
Connecticut – 2 years from injury or discovery. No extension for minors.
Delaware – 2 years from injury; 3 years from discovery; minors have until 6th birthday.
District of Columbia – 3 years from injury or discovery; limitation period begins to run on minor’s 18th birthday.
Florida – 2 years from injury or discovery; outside limit 4 years. Limitations apply to minors aged 8 or older; child under 8 must file suit by 8th birthday or within limitations period outlined above, which ever time period is greater.
Georgia – 2 years from injury; 1 year from discovery of foreign object; no action may be brought more than 5 years after injury. Minors have until 7th birthday; statute of repose cannot run before minor’s 10th birthday.
Hawaii – 2 years from injury or discovery; failure to disclose malpractice tolls the statute. Absolute limit 6 years.
Idaho – 2 years from injury. Statue begins to run upon a minor’s 18th birthday.
Illinois – 2 years from injury or discovery; if injury cannot be discovered during 2 year period, action must be filed within 4 years of injury; suits may be brought up to 8 years after injury but not after age 22.
Indiana – 2 years from injury. Minors under 6 have until 8th birthday.
Iowa – 2 years from injury or discovery; 6 year absolute limit. Also applies to minors 8 or older; minors under 8 have 2 years from date of injury or by 10th birthday, whichever is later.
Kansas – 2 years from injury or discovery; maximum of 4 years from occurrence. Minors have until within 1 year of 18th birthday, but not more than 8 years after injury.
Kentucky – 1 year from injury; 5 year absolute limit. For unmarried minors, statute begins to run on 18th birthday; for married minors, statute begins to run upon date of marriage.
Louisiana – 1 year from injury or discovery; 3 year absolute limit. Concealment tolls statute.
Maine – 3 years after date of injury; action accrues on date when foreign object in body is discovered or should have been discovered. Minors have 6 years after injury or within 3 years after minor reaches age of majority, whichever occurs first.
Maryland – 5 years from injury or 3 years from discovery of injury; 3 years from occurrence for death. Minors under 16 have until 16th birthday.
Massachusetts – 3 years from injury or discovery; disability 3 years after removal; concealment tolls the statute until 3 years after discovery. Minors under 6 have until 9th birthday.
Michigan – 2 years from date of injury, or within 6 months of discovery to a maximum of 6 years following injury. Minors under 8 statute begins to run on 10th birthday, or within the 2 year statute of limitations, whichever is greater. Minors under 13 with injuries to the reproductive system have until 15th birthday or within the 2 year statute of limitations, whichever is greater.
Minnesota – 4 years from injury or omission. Minors must file within 1 year of 18th birthday but no more than 7 years after date of injury.
Mississippi – 2 years from injury, omission, or discovery; not more than 7 years after injury or omission.
Missouri – 2 years from injury or omission; not more than 10 years after date of the act. Minors under 8 must file by 20th birthday.
Montana – 3 years from injury or discovery; absolute limit 5 years.
Nebraska – 2 years from injury or death; 1 year from discovery; 2 years from last treatment in failure to diagnose cancer; absolute limit 10 years.
Nevada – 3 years from injury, omission, or within 1 year of date of discovery, whichever is earlier; minors included. Minors with brain damage or birth defects have until 10th birthday; minors whose injuries result in sterility have 2 years from date of discovery.
New Hampshire – 2 years from injury; 2 years from discovery of foreign object.
New Jersey – 2 years from injury, omission, or discovery. Statute begins to run on a minor’s 18th birthday; minors with birth injuries must file by 13th birthday.
New Mexico – 3 years from injury or death; concealment tolls statute. Minors under 6 have until 9th birthday.
New York – 30 months from injury or omission; 1 year from date foreign object was or should have been discovered. Minors have 3 years from date of 18th birthday to commence action, but statute cannot be extended more than 10 years from date of injury or omission.
North Carolina – 3 years from injury or omission; 2 years from discovery to a maximum of 4 years; 2 years for wrongful death; 1 year for discovery of foreign object to a maximum of 10 years after date of injury. Minors within 1 year of 18th birthday.
North Dakota – 2 years from injury or discovery; maximum of 6 years. Disability of a minor may not extend statute by more than 12 years.
Ohio – Notice to defendant within 1 year of injury; action may be filed 180 days after notice; service of notice tolls statute by 180 days; 1 year for foreign object, but not more than 4 years after object discovered. Minors have 4 years after injury.
Oklahoma – 2 years from injury or discovery; 2 years for death or newborn. Minority and mental incompetence extend time limit, except for newborns.
Oregon – 2 years from injury; 3 years from death; absolute limit 5 years, except for concealment.
Pennsylvania – 2 years from injury or death; concealment and disability toll statute.
Rhode Island – 3 years from injury. Statute begins to run on minor’s 18th birthday.
South Carolina – 3 years from injury or discovery; 6 years for death; 2 years from discovery of foreign object or negligent placement of device; disability 2 years from discovery or 1 year from removal.
South Dakota – 2 years after injury or omission. Minors under 6 have 2 years after 6th birthday to file; minors 6 and older must file within 3 years from injury or omission.
Tennessee – 1 year from date of injury or discovery; not more than 3 years after injury except for concealment; 1 year after discovery of concealment; 1 year for discovery of foreign object. Statute begins to run on minor’s 18th birthday.
Texas – 2 years for injury or omission; not more than 10 years after that date. Minors under 12 have until 14th birthday.
Utah – 2 years for injury or discovery; 1 year from date of insertion of foreign object left in body or discovery; not more than 4 years from date of injury or omission. Statute runs on minor’s 18th birthday.
Vermont – 3 years for injury and discovery; 2 years from occurrence for death; concealment tolls statute; absolute limit 7 years; 20 years from last treatment for x-ray injuries.
Virginia – 2 years from injury or omission; 1 year for foreign object left or discovered, but not more than 10 years after insertion. Minors under 8 have until 10th birthday.
Washington – 3 years for injury; 1 year after discovery.
West Virginia – 2 years for injury or death; concealment tolls the statute.
Wisconsin – 3 years from injury or death; 1 year from discovery; concealment tolls statute. Minors have until age 10.
Wyoming – 2 years from injury, discovery, or death; disability tolls statute until 1 year after removal; court may grant extension if malpractice not discoverable with due diligence. Minors have until 8th birthday.

The Rule Is: These state time limits, which are subject to change, are absolute deadlines. After they run out, you cannot file your lawsuit for medical malpractice or dental malpractice. If your case is near its time limit, consult a lawyer as soon as possible.

     
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