Time Limits to Start a Lawsuit
A statute of limitation sets a time limit on how long you have to start a lawsuit from the date of the medical malpractice. If the lawsuit is not started within the time period, then your lawsuit is barred regardless of its merits.
In Minnesota, there are different statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases. The limitation period will vary depending on whether you are an adult or a minor and whether the patient died as a result of the malpractice. Determining the statute of limitations in any given case requires a detailed analysis of the facts and law, but as a general rule that statutes of limitations for Minnesota medical malpractice cases are as follows:
Adults: If you were age 18 or older at the the time of the malpractice, you have four years from the date of the malpractice to commence suit.
Minors: For minors injured by medical malpractice, the running of the four-year limitation period is suspended for a period of up to seven years from the date of malpractice or until the minor turns age 19, whichever period is shorter. The time period to sue will depend on the age of the minor at the time of the malpractice.
Parents of Minors: When minors are injured due to malpractice, the parents also have claims to recover medical bills and other damages. To preserve those claims, the parents must commence the lawsuit for their damages within four years of the date of the malpractice on their minor child. Careful consideration should be given to commencing the minor's medical malpractice case at the same time.
Wrongful Death: When medical malpractice results in death of the patient, regardless of the age of the patient, the lawsuit must be commenced within three years of the date of death and within four years of the date of the malpractice causing the death. For example, if the malpractice occurred on January 1, 2012 and the patient died that same day, you must commence the lawsuit within three years of the date of death. You do not have four years to commence suit. If, however, the malpractice occurred on January 1, 2012 and the patient died two years later as a result of the malpractice, you must commence the lawsuit within four years of the date of malpractice (which also would also be within three years of the date of death).
If you have lost a family member due to medical malpractice, contact Bill Maddix, your Minnesota medical malpractice lawyer, for a free consultation.
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Call (612) 418-0263