As the victim of doctor error or hospital negligence, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your personal injury. Georgia, like all other states, gives you the right to sue a health care provider for medical professional negligence, but waiting too long before filing that lawsuit could cause your claim for damages to be dismissed.
Georgia has a statute of limitations to encourage people to file civil lawsuits in a timely manner. The state legislature has decided what constitutes timely for purposes of the statute of limitations for various types of cases. For example, a cause of action for personal injury suffered in a car or truck accident must be filed with the court within two years from the date of the accident to avoid having it dismissed.
Medical malpractice cases also have a statute of limitations to limit how long you can take before filing them with the court. A lawsuit arising from a worsened medical condition caused by a misdiagnosis must be filed within two years from the act which is similar to the general personal injury statute of limitations, but there is a major difference.
Lawmakers recognized that a patient who is the victim of a surgical error or mistakes by a doctor or by a nurse might not realize the connection between the doctor error and the injury. This is the reason that the two-year medical malpractice statute of limitations is calculated from the date of the act or two years from the date of the delayed discovery of the injury or its cause.
The fact that a person has two years from discovery of the injury or from the discovery that the injury was the result of medical malpractice does not extend the statute of limitations indefinitely. There is a maximum of five years from the date of the act of malpractice within which a lawsuit must be started.
The complexity of the statute of
limitations, particularly with regard to medical malpractice, is
a reason to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you
suspect that you might have been the victim of a negligent
surgical act or other acts of negligence by a health care
provider. A personal injury attorney can review your claim to
determine how the statute of limitations applies to it.