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The Importance of the Discovery Rule in Your Personal Injury Case

Written by Berkowitz

personal injury

Lawyers Serving Personal Injury Victims throughout Connecticut

There is a statute of limitations for the state of Connecticut that specifies how long a plaintiff has to sue a physician or provider for malpractice. However, the clock does not automatically start the day of the incident. Instead, the discovery rule dictates when the clock starts in the claim.

What is the Discovery Rule?

The discovery rule allows victims to sue a physician for malpractice after the statute of limitations has expired when they were not aware that malpractice occurred at the time of the incident. From the date the patient discovers – or reasonably should have discovered – the injury, the statute of limitations clock begins.

The biggest factor with the discovery rule is that the victim must not have known that he or she had a potential case. Patients who did not know that they were victims of malpractice – with no way to have reasonably known – could exceed the statute of limitations and receive a longer timeframe to file their lawsuit.

All states have their own rule for discovery and how it affects the statute of limitations.

The Standard Statute of Limitations in Connecticut

In Connecticut, a patient has up to two years to file a malpractice lawsuit against the physician, hospital, or clinic responsible for the injuries. If a patient does not file in the two-year window, he or she no longer has the right to request compensation.

The Discovery Rule for Connecticut

Connecticut courts do recognize the discovery rule. This exception to the statute of limitations allows victims who did not reasonably know about their injury or malpractice to file after the two-year limitation.

For the discovery rule, the statute of limitations does not start until the plaintiff discovers the malpractice. From there, the patient has two years to file the lawsuit.

For Minor Children, the Statute of Limitations is Different

The rules for minors and the statute of limitations are different. The deadline for minors (those under the age of 18) does not offer any special provisions. While some states allow the child to wait until he or she is 18, Connecticut does not have special provisions for younger individuals; they still must adhere to the two-year limitation.

Do You Forfeit All Compensation After Two Years?

If you fail to file within the two-year period, the court is likely to throw out the case. This is because the courts recognize that a defendant should not be sued for acts that occurred years ago. If a person could sue at any time, the defendant would not have access to evidence, witnesses may not be accessible, and the defendant would not have the opportunity to adequately defend themselves.

See if Your Case Falls Under the Statute of Limitations

If you are concerned that your case has expired, or if you want to see whether your case qualifies for the discovery rule in Connecticut, you must first contact a personal injury attorney who understands these deadlines and how to apply them to your claim.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call or contact us online to get started.