It’s true that the statute of limitations, with regard to some Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) medical malpractice cases, can be complex. Nonetheless, it is critical that your attorney has a handle on the statute of limitations and when the limitations period expires in your malpractice case. Without having a handle on the statute of limitations, your attorney may not have time to successfully investigate and file your medical malpractice case.
Let’s look at calculating the statute of limitations in your FTCA malpractice case.
Before we get going full steam, it’s important to note that, in effect, the FTCA has two statutes of limitations, both of which you must satisfy. And, to understand when the limitations periods end, we must first determine when they begin.
However, determining when the first statute of limitations period begins is not always a straightforward task.
The first statute of limitations requires that you present an “administrative claim” to the appropriate federal agency no more than two years after the claim “accrues” (i.e., no more than two years after the first of the FTCA’s statutes of limitations starts to run). For medical malpractice cases, the claim accrues when you discover, or by reasonable diligence should have discovered, your injury and its cause.
Before looking at the second of the FTCA’s statutes of limitations, it is important to note a few things about when the claim accrues:
When you are not aware of negligence …
Actual knowledge of negligent treatment is not required to trigger the running of the limitations period. A claim will accrue even if you do not know the precise medical reason for your injury, as long as you know or should know that some aspect of the medical treatment caused the injury.
When you receive incorrect advice from other medical providers …
Even if you seek the advice of other medical providers and are incorrectly advised that you did not receive negligent treatment, such advice will not prevent the accrual of the claim.
When the medical malpractice claim is based on failure to diagnose …
When a malpractice claim is based on a failure to diagnose or treat a pre-existing condition, a claim does not accrue until you become aware or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have become aware, of the development of the pre-existing condition into a more serious condition that poses greater danger or requires more extensive treatment.
When you are receiving continuous treatment from a physician for conditions arising from the malpractice …
When you are receiving continuous treatment from a physician for conditions or illnesses arising out of that physician’s medical malpractice, the claim does not accrue until the continuous treatment ends.
The second FTCA statute of limitations, which governs when you must file a lawsuit, requires that you file it within six months of the denial of the administrative claim. After six months have passed, the second of the two statutes of limitations periods has run out and you will not be able to get justice for your injuries through the court system.
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of medical professionals in Maryland, you may have questions about your legal options. Well, if you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Once the you are in possession of the critical facts that you have been hurt and you know who has caused your injury, you have a duty to make a diligent inquiry into whether the injury resulted from a negligent act.