Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Actions in California

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Did you know that many victims of medical malpractice, even those harmed by outrageous gross negligence of their physician, are unable to file a lawsuit because they simply waited too long to get an attorney? In California and all other states, medical malpractice claims are subject to what is known as a statute of limitations.

In California, the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5 describes the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Such claims must be brought within three years of the date of the injury or within one year of the plaintiff discovering the injury, whichever comes first. What that means is that even if an individual discovered the existence of malpractice less than a year ago, if the incident that caused the injury occurred more than 3 years ago, that claim is likely barred by the statute of limitations. Claims brought outside of this timeline are likely to be dismissed by a court, unless they fall under narrow exceptions to the law. This statute of limitations highlights why it is so important to get a Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyer involved right away if you believe you’ve been injured by a medical provider or medical facility. Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. is both a medical malpractice lawyer and a medical doctor. His expertise early on in a case will ensure that your claim is not time-barred by the California statute of limitations.

There are a couple of exceptions to the statute of limitations that can sometimes help if you haven’t brought a lawsuit within the above timelines. First, the three-year limit within the statute of limitations does not apply to cases where a foreign object, such as a sponge or medical instrument, is left inside a surgical cavity. The plaintiff must bring these lawsuits within a year of discovering the presence of the object, but they can still be brought a very long time after the object was placed there.

Second, the statute of limitations is tolled (paused) if the plaintiff is under a legal disability. These circumstances include being in a coma or being under age 18. This rule can help extend the length of time for children and some adults to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit in California.

No matter your circumstances, if you’ve been injured through the intentional or negligent misconduct of a medical provider you should seek the counsel of a Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyer right away. The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. is waiting to take your call and answer your questions. Call us today at (310) 289-2600 or visit us online to have your case reviewed by one of our attorneys.

Questions? Contact us