We trust our doctors and other medical professionals to care for us properly. After all, the health and lives of their patients are on the line. When they fail to do their jobs properly, it may be necessary to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold them responsible for the injury they cause. But there is a time limit to take such action.
Medical malpractice and the standard of care
All medical providers owe their patients a duty – to provide them with care that is considered acceptable within the standards of the medical community. When a provider makes a mistake or otherwise fails to live up to the standard, causing an injury to their patient, they have committed medical malpractice and can be held liable. Common examples of medical malpractice include diagnosis failures, medications mistakes and surgical errors.
The statute of limitations
When a person suffers an injury due to medical malpractice, Indiana gives that person the right to file suit and seek compensation for their injury. However, there is a time limit called the statute of limitations. Indiana Code Section 34-18-7-1 gives the individual two years to bring the medical malpractice action, calculated from the date the provider failed the standard of care. Once two years have passed, the right to file suit is lost forever.
There are circumstances under which the two-year time limit can be extended. If the injured party did not discover the malpractice until after the two years have passed, and did not possess information which should have reasonably led them to discover the malpractice, they may get more time. These types of circumstances depend heavily on the specific facts and timing of the situation. A thorough investigation of the facts and experience in medical malpractice will be required.