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Don't forget about the statute of limitations

Let's say that you go to the doctor's office, and during the course of the visit you endure substandard care. As a result of this poor care, you are injured or you suffer a different medical condition that can be tied back to the doctor and his or her performance. Even though you are aware of the potential of negligence on the part of the doctor, you still take your time with the situation. You want to think it through before proceeding with any action.

You consult with attorneys, you discuss the situation with family and friends, and you think about it on your own time. Once you realize that a medical malpractice lawsuit is the right way to proceed, you take action.

This is a straightforward summary of how a medical malpractice comes about, but the main consideration in this summary -- time -- is of the utmost importance. Medical malpractice lawsuits have a statute of limitations, which simply means there is a time limit for the victim to bring a lawsuit against the negligent medical professional or institution.

How that timing works depends on a court's interpretation of when the counter begins. Does it start when the treatment concludes? Does it start when the injury or medical condition occurred? Does it start when the patient should have been aware that something was wrong? A court could take any of these interpretations.

Additionally, if the patient dies as a result of the medical malpractice, now there is a wrongful death claim to consider. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is different than it is for medical malpractice.

As you can see, timing is a major consideration for medical malpractice lawsuits, and anyone who has been subjected to substandard care needs to consider his or her options in an efficient and timely manner to preserve their claim.

Source: FindLaw, "Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Claims," Accessed July 14, 2015

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