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Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Your Malpractice Claim

Written by Berkowitz

statute of limitationsYou do have limited time to initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Connecticut, the law requires that your lawsuit be initiated within two years from the date when the injury was first sustained, or when the injury/illness was discovered. Also, the law requires that the claim be initiated within three years from the date of the act or omission that caused the injury. If you feel that you have suffered an injury, and feel that you have a justified malpractice claim, then you will need to initiate the lawsuit within three years of the act of malpractice – even if you do not discover or reasonably discover the injury.

There are ways to get around this three-year limitation, however. If you can allege that the physician had a continuing duty to warn you about malpractice and the consequence, then the three-year limit may not apply.

The Limitations Period

Under Connecticut law, there is a limitations period. This is the two-year limit from the date when the injury was discovered or sustained. It also includes two years within when a reasonable person would find the injury. However, you cannot bring your suit longer than three years after this date, according to Statute 52-584.

Accrual Date

This is a separate date that focuses on when there is actionable harm. Actionable harm occurs when you discover or should have discovered the elements of the cause of action.

Unfortunately, all of the different timelines can be very confusing for an injured patient. Therefore, it is best to speak with an attorney immediately after you suspect that you have suffered from a medical-related injury. The statutes are clear about the limitations, and if you fail to file your medical malpractice claim within the two to three-year limit, you will be ineligible to collect compensation – even if you were legitimately injured by your physician.

Do You Have a Case?

You should speak with an attorney if you suspect that you are the victim of malpractice. But, some common reasons why a patient would file a malpractice claim against a provider include:

  1. Failure to Diagnose or Delayed Diagnosis – This is when a physician fails to diagnose a patient in time (meaning that the patient is no longer eligible for treatment), or when a physician delays the diagnosis and the patient suffers from more in-depth treatments. For example, if a patient was not diagnosed with cancer, and the cancer spread by the time when it was discovered, the patient was no longer eligible for surgery and was given only 10 years to live.
  2. Childbirth Injuries – These can occur during prenatal care, but most will happen during the actual childbirth.
  3. Medication Errors – This is a growing problem in the United States. It includes over prescribing, under prescribing, administering the wrong medication, using the wrong dosage, having dangerous drug interactions, etc.
  4. Anesthesia Errors – These can occur in outpatient clinics, as well as hospital settings.
  5. Surgical Errors – There is a surprising number of surgical errors made in the United States each year – and most are preventable.

Get Assistance with Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Malpractice cases are regulated by the complex rules listed in the statute. They are difficult to understand, and identifying the statute of limitations in your case can be extremely complicated. If you suspect that you are the victim of malpractice, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. For assistance with your case, contact a Connecticut lawyer at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC. We are here to represent the injured, and we have a long history of successful settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.