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Ask a Lawyer: What is the Statute of Limitations on a Surgical Error?

If you’ve been the victim of a surgical error, then you need to act fast if you wish to seek justice for what has occurred. Cases have a rigid timeframe that you need to make your claim within. Hiring a surgical error lawyer as soon as you become aware of the error that occurred is vital so proceedings in your case can start.

Ask a Surgical Error Lawyer: What is the Statute of Limitations on a Surgical Error?

You have three years from the time of discovering the surgical error to make a claim. In some cases, the three-year timeframe starts from the time you could have reasonably discovered the injury that came as a result of this surgical error. Finding the best surgical error lawyer Baltimore will ensure you get accurate advice on what “reasonably discovered” means in your case.

The statute of limitations for surgical malpractice differs from general medical malpractice, as other forms of malpractice (such as misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment) have a statute of limitations of five years. Be careful not to confuse the two, as if you wait too long, you could miss your chance to make a claim for your surgical error.

Does My Entire Case Have To Be Resolved Within the Three-Year Timeframe?

No, you don’t have to resolve your case within three years of discovering the surgical error. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that you will in some cases. Medical malpractice cases can often stretch on for two to three years, and others can take five years or more to settle. This would make it almost impossible for you to win compensation if you had to have the case settled within three years.

When Does the Timeframe Start?

If you were made aware of the surgical error on the date of the surgery, then that is when three years begin. Your surgeon may have told you they left a foreign body inside you that they had to remove, you might have woken up to discover the wrong site was operated on, or you may have awoken to discover you were given another patient’s procedure by mistake.

If you did not discover the error at the time it occurred, then the three years should begin from the time you do find out. For example, you may have a scan several years down the line that reveals a foreign body was left inside you. As soon as your physician tells you your ailment or injury is the result of a surgical error, then your timeline begins.

What If the Surgical Error Led to a Wrongful Death?

The proceedings are the same if the surgical error led to wrongful death. You still have three years to sue from the time of death or from the time discovering the death was due to a surgical error. The wrongful death may make the case more complicated and may lead to it taking longer to settle, but it’s still possible to seek justice on behalf of the deceased and, as their family, receive compensation for their surgical error.

Is It a Surgical Error If I Experienced Complications?

Not all complications are considered medical malpractice or surgical errors. Surgery is always a risk, and there’s a high risk of complications with every single one. Your doctor is required by law to disclose all the major complications that could occur before, after, and during surgery. If your doctor did so, then you can’t sue them for a complication they warned you of.

However, if your doctor neglects to tell you about a complication and then you experience it, then you may be able to sue them for malpractice. Talking to your attorney is the best way to determine whether or not you could be entitled to a settlement. This is especially prevalent if you would have not agreed to go through with the procedure if you’d known the complication could occur.

Can I Sue for an Avoidable Complication?

If you experience a complication that wouldn’t have occurred if your surgery was performed by another physician, then you may be able to sue the doctor who caused your complication. Your attorney will open a medical investigation that will determine whether or not you have a case against the physician who caused your complication.

Some complications are obviously avoidable, so in some cases, medical negligence is more obvious. But why often than not, it will take some investigating to determine whether or not you can make a claim.

How Much Can I Win in a Surgical Error Lawsuit?

How much you can win in suit value depends on what kind of error occurred and how it impacted your life for the future. Some cases cannot be in excess of $250,000, but others may result in you winning over $1 million in damages.

Surgical error cases are incredibly serious and often result in hefty settlements. You must file within three years of discovering the error to be allowed to make a claim. Contacting an attorney immediately after discovering you have an injury or element that was caused by a surgical error will give you the best shot at winning compensation.

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