It’s easy to get the statute of limitations all wrong and confused when it comes to Maryland medical malpractice cases. Here is what you need to know to calculate when you must file your case before the law tells you, “you’re too late!”
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases provides, essentially, that you must file your lawsuit within the earlier of the two following dates: (a) five years from the date of your injury, or (b) three years from the date you discovered you had an injury caused by a negligent act.
Here, “injury” refers to wrongs or damage that the law recognizes arising from the health care provider’s actions (or failure to act).
One misconception, which leads to confusion, is that the date of the negligent action or inaction by the health care provider is the date that starts the statute-of-limitations clock. It is important to note that the event that triggers the statute of limitations is not necessarily the negligent act itself, but rather the moment that an injury results from the negligent act. The negligent act and the resulting injury will often occur at the same time, but this is not always the case. Let’s look at an example. When a doctor is negligent by misdiagnosing and failing to treat stage I carcinoma, there may not be an injury caused by the negligence until–at a later date–the disease progresses to stage II.
It is also important to note that it is the occurrence of any degree of injury, however small, that starts the statute-of-limitations clock. This is the case even though the full extent of the injury may be evident only at a later time.
I realize you may have questions or concerns about the statute of limitations or medical malpractice cases. So, if you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, but still have questions, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your legal questions. This is something I do every day, and I would love to chat with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at email@example.com.