How Much Time Do You Have to Sue a Doctor for Medical Malpractice?
New Jersey encourages injured victims to bring a lawsuit in a timely manner. The state has passed a “statute of limitations” for that reason.
This statute gives a victim a certain amount of time to bring a claim; afterward, the right to sue is cut off and a judge will dismiss your lawsuit because it was filed too late.
If you were injured by a medical professional or hospital, you might have a claim for medical malpractice. As a prominent New Jersey law firm, we receive many questions, such as “How long do you have to sue a hospital for negligence?”
In this article, we delve into New Jersey’s statute of limitations, which is quite complicated. If you think you have a case, please contact us as soon as possible.
How Long Do You Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice?
You can find the relevant statute of limitations at NJSA 2A:14.2. It says you have two years from the date that the claim accrues to file your lawsuit in court.
What does this mean? Your claim accrues when you receive the negligent medical treatment and suffer injury. This could be the date of surgery or other inadequate medical treatment. If a doctor punctures a lung during surgery on April 15, 2018, then you have until April 15, 2020 to file a lawsuit in court.
What about Injuries to Children? How Long Do You Have to Sue a Doctor?
Children have different rules. Generally, a minor who suffered a medical malpractice injury has two years to file after they turn age 18. So if a minor is injured at age 15, they can have up until age 20 to file their lawsuit in court.
There is an exception if a child suffered injuries at birth. The statute says that you must start a lawsuit before the child reaches age 13. You might not know when your child was injured, so meet with an attorney for a consultation.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Yes. Sometimes it is not obvious that you have an injury or that medical malpractice is to blame. If you could not discover your injuries within 2 years, does that mean you cannot sue?
Fortunately, the clock starts ticking when you discovered or could have reasonably discovered that you have a medical malpractice claim. So if your injuries or illness take more than 2 years to develop, you could still have a valid claim against a doctor or hospital.
Contact Us As Soon as Possible
This article on New Jersey’s statute of limitations provides general information. However, each case is unique.
If you suspect a medical professional or hospital has injured you, then reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. There is really no reason to delay. Let a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer determine the deadline for bringing a claim.
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble has brought many medical malpractice cases and we are prepared to do everything we can to obtain compensation on your behalf. Contact us today. We offer members of the public a free, confidential consultation.