There are many reasons for a person to seek medical care, whether it is to get a prescription for an ongoing medical condition, to get through a pregnancy with a healthy baby, or to have a necessary surgery. In the majority of cases, the care that is provided is done in accordance with the applicable standards for the specific medical professional. However, when there is a mistake made, whether through an act or a failure to act, it often is necessary to file a legal action in order to get the compensation necessary to address the harm that was done. What many people do not realize is how long they have to file a legal action. The time limit is controlled through the statute of limitations in a particular state. When that time limit has expired, there are no second chances.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in the State of Indiana
A statute of limitations provides the time period in which a specific type of case can be filed. Pursuant to Indiana law, a person has two years from the date on which the act or omission occurred to file a legal action against the medical professional(s) who caused the harm. See Indiana Code § 34-18-7-1.
Although the time begins to run when the act or omission occurs, there is some flexibility under the provisions of the Indiana law. If the person did not discover the injury for some time after the act or omission that led to the harm, as long as it could not have been discovered with the application of reasonable diligence, then the clock does not begin to run until the discovery is made. The burden is on the plaintiff to demonstrate that he was unable to determine the nature or the cause of the harm for some period of time.
It is easy to believe that even if there is a delay in discovering the injury that there will be plenty of time to get a case together in time to file a case before the deadline. However, a medical malpractice action requires extensive evidence, which takes time to compile. It is critical to give an experienced medical malpractice attorney as much time as possible to get the best results.
There is a special rule in Indiana that provides an additional 90 days for a plaintiff to put together his or her case by submitting a proposed complaint. This complaint is reviewed by a review panel comprised of three medical professionals and an attorney, who sit at the behest of the court in order to review the feasibility of medical malpractice cases that exceed a specific amount of damages. By participating in this review process, the plaintiff effectively extends the statutory period in which to file the case from two years to two years and 90 days.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Indiana
There is a notable exception to the Indiana statute of limitations. When the person who is injured is a minor under the age of six years at the time of the medical malpractice, he has until his eighth birthday, through a parent or guardian, to commence the legal action. Therefore, if the plaintiff was an infant inured during the delivery process, he has eight years to file the case. This is important for young victims of medical malpractice because the extent of the injury often is not known for many years. In addition, it may require careful analysis to discover the cause of the harm. The exception to the general rule provides this time.
Stern Law, PLLC Fights for Those Harmed by Medical Malpractice Throughout Indiana
When a person has suffered a severe injury as the result of a preventable mistake made by a medical professional, the process of recovering compensation for the wrong that was done may be long and arduous. It is critical to get started right away in order to gather the necessary evidence before the time limit has run out. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney has worked for more than 30 years to recover monetary damages from the doctors and other medical professionals who have harmed individuals through negligent or reckless actions. Getting compensation for the therapy and rehabilitation necessitated by the malpractice, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as other costs, only goes a small way to make up for the harm that was done.
In addition to advocating on behalf of our clients to obtain the results that they deserve, we also provide information and answers for anyone who has been injured, or believes he or she may have been harmed, as the result of a medical professional’s negligence. We have knowledgeable representatives available to respond to questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether or not you are a client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.