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Looking at the basics of the medical malpractice statute of limitations

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is generally a large undertaking involving a lot of leg work and a lot of coordination. Not only are there evidentiary and legal issues that need to be fully explored and considered, there are procedural and technical issues that have to be dealt with and coordinated as well.

One important element of this coordination is to ensure that a medical malpractice claim is filed before the statute of limitations runs. As we pointed out in our last post, there are some disagreements on exactly how state law should be applied in certain circumstances, but the basics are laid out fairly clearly. 

Medical malpractice claims generally must be filed within two years of the act or omission underlying the claim, or else within six months of when the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the act or omission. In any case, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within six years of the underlying act or omission. As mentioned previously, the statute of limitations does not apply in cases where the claimant has lost the ability to procreate or where discovery of the claim was prevented by the fraudulent conduct of the provider--or an agent or employee of a health facility--against whom the claim is brought.

For patients who have been harmed by medical malpractice, it is important to keep the statute of limitations in mind so that the deadline for filing is not missed. Working with an experienced attorney helps ensure not only that a strong case will be swiftly built up and a claim timely filed, but also that a plaintiff's rights are advocated when disputes related to the proper tolling of the statute of limitations arise.

Source: Michigan Compiled Laws: Sec. 5838a, 5805

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