How Long Do I Have to Reach Out to a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

CALL (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation by a medical injury lawyer today

For victims and their family members, suffering through an incident of medical malpractice can be physically, mentally, and emotionally devastating. Medical care providers, like nurses, are some of the people that Americans trust the most, and this fact can add to the distress when a doctor or nurse makes a mistake that leads to your injury. When facing this situation, it is important to remember that you and your family don’t need to go through it alone—a medical malpractice lawyer can help in myriad ways.

How long do i have to reach out to a medical MALPRACTICE attorney?

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, such as a botched surgery, you may be wondering, “How long do I have to contact a lawyer after surgery?” The answer to this question will depend largely on the laws of the state in which the incident occurred, namely, the applicable statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the length of time that you have after a given accident within which to file a claim or risk having it be dismissed for being untimely; the exact length of time will most likely be between two and four years, but a medical malpractice attorney in your state can give you a more accurate idea.

Discovery Rule

In most cases, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking on the date of the accident. However, there are certain exceptions that may apply. One of these exceptions is the discovery rule. The discovery rule would apply in the situation where a mistake made by a medical professional could not have actually been discovered until much later.

For example, imagine that a surgeon left a piece of surgical equipment in a patient during a surgery in 2018. The patient had no way of knowing that that happened but began to experience severe stomach pain in 2020 as a result. In this situation, the discovery rule may apply, pausing the clock on the statute of limitations until the later date when the victim discovered the issue. A medical injury lawyer in your state can give you a better idea of whether this exception applies in your case.

Minors

Many states have enacted a sort of exception to the general rule of statute of limitations when the victim of the medical malpractice is a minor. This exception typically will not start the clock on the statute of limitations running until the minor reaches the age of majority in the state, even if the accident happened many years earlier. That being said, it is best to reach out to a medical injury attorney as quickly as possible to discuss what the options may be for you and your family.

Statute of Repose

A statue of repose is a legal construct that has been enacted in certain states which sets an absolute deadline on a victim’s ability to file a claim for medical malpractice in court, regardless of when they discovered their injuries. For example, in a state where the normal statute of limitations is two years, the statute of repose might be ten years.

With all of the complex factors that can go into determining the outcome of a medical malpractice claim, the answer to the question of, “How long do I have to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer?” is generally, “not long, so contact one as soon as you possibly can.” While you may have years to file a claim, getting the ball rolling as soon as possible by speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer will likely giving you the best possible chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries.

what should i ask my medical malpractice lawyer?

Speaking with medical malpractice attorneys soon after your accident gives you the opportunity to talk to a few different candidates before deciding who will represent your legal interests. However, if you have never dealt with this sort of situation before, then it is likely that you don’t have much of an idea of what to ask a potential medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether they are the person who will give you the best shot at receiving maximum compensation. The following are a few questions to ask an attorney during the initial consultation that can give you a better idea of whether that lawyer is worth partnering with on your case.

Do You Work on a Contingency Fee Basis?

A contingency fee arrangement means that your attorney doesn’t charge a flat fee or an hourly rate; rather, they are paid with an agreed-upon percentage of the money recovered in your case at its conclusion. Contingency fee arrangements are preferable for a couple of reasons.

First, a contingency fee means that you won’t end up in a situation where you lose your case but still owe an attorney a large sum of money. In addition, when your lawyer is working on a contingency fee, they have every incentive to work hard on your case given that they now stand to benefit as well. Attorneys who work on an hourly basis may have an incentive to drag things out and take cases they don’t think have a good chance at ending in a positive outcome just for the quick payday.

Does Your Firm Have Experience Working with Medical Malpractice Claims?

As with anything, there is a learning curve when it comes to effectively bringing medical malpractice claims. You don’t want your attorney to be just starting to handle medical malpractice claims; it is important that they have the experience necessary to be able to assist you and your family. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be better equipped to effectively assess your options from the outset of the case, help you to properly value your claim, and form an effective strategy in order to persuasively argue for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Do You Have a High Number of Other Cases that You are Working On?

At least important as ensuring that your attorney has experience working in the field of medical malpractice is making sure that they have the time and the resources to give your case the full attention that it deserves. Some attorneys or firms may continue accepting cases even after they have a full caseload because they are unwilling to turn down the chance of another payday. Make sure that your attorney puts their clients first and keeps their caseload low so as to give each of their cases the amount of attention that they require.

Medical malpractice faqs

While it is impossible to answer all potential questions without understanding the unique circumstances of an individual case, there are some questions that come up more often than others, and having a general understanding of these areas can be helpful.

What Kind of Damages are Available to Plaintiffs in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

In legal terms, damages are the monetary compensation that might be available to a victim after a personal injury accident. Different types of damages are intended to compensate for different losses or suffering that a victim and their family incur; for example, economic damages compensate victims for quantifiable losses that they sustain such as medical bills and lost wages from being unable to work. Non-economic damages compensate victims for the emotional, mental, and physical pain and suffering that they experience, and punitive damages may also be available in cases where the medical professional acted in a particularly reckless or even purposeful way.

What Kind of Mistakes Can Constitute an Incident of Medical Malpractice?

In order to prove medical malpractice, it is necessary to prove that a doctor or nurse acted negligently in some way. Generally speaking, proving negligence involves establishing that there is some baseline level of care that all medical professionals are supposed to live up to in a given situation, then showing that the medical professional in this scenario fell short of that standard. That could be failing to properly diagnose a condition, not following the proper procedure in the treatment of a patient, or failing to warn a patient of the known risks of a given drug or procedure.

How Much is My Case Worth?

It is impossible to give an accurate estimate of how much your case could be worth without an understanding of the details involved. The best way to gain an understanding of what the true value of your case is, and the likelihood of successfully claiming it, is likely going to be to confer with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area.

Call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation

As is evident, there are many more questions involved in a medical malpractice claim other than, “How long do I have to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer?” However, this is a critically important question, and the short answer is that it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as you possibly can. Zinda Law Group attorneys are ready to assist you and your family in this difficult time, and what’s more, we don’t charge you anything until we win your case for you; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.