A medical provider who causes you injuries should compensate you for this harm. However, Maryland limits how long you have to file a lawsuit against the provider. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. If you wait too long, you may be unable to sue the doctor.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice varies depending on the circumstances of the case. It can be surprisingly short. Speak with the attorneys at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico if you have a potential medical malpractice case.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the accepted standard of care and causes harm to a patient. In essence, it represents a breach of the duty of care owed by healthcare providers to their patients. Often, the healthcare provider is negligent or doesn’t use prevailing medical standards. This negligence leads to the patient’s injuries or damages.
For instance, imagine a patient experiencing symptoms consistent with a heart condition. Their doctor dismisses these symptoms without conducting appropriate tests. Because of this, the doctor fails to recognize the signs of the heart condition. Due to the misdiagnosis, the patient might not receive life-saving treatment on time. As a result, the patient experiences worsened health or even passes away.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Maryland
Maryland law sets out how long you have to file a lawsuit. In general, you have to file a lawsuit within five years of the injury or within three years of learning about the injury, whichever comes first. In simpler terms, you generally have three years from the time you learn about your injury to file a lawsuit. But you can’t file the lawsuit more than five years after the date you were injured, no matter how late you discovered your injury.
For example, imagine you sustained an injury during surgery in May 2022. If your injury was immediately apparent after surgery, you would have a full three years, until May 2025, to file your lawsuit. But if you don’t learn about the injury until June 2026, you would have less than a year—until May 2027—to file a lawsuit under the med mal statute of limitations.
If you did not discover your injury until after May 2027, you would likely be unable to file a lawsuit at all. However, some circumstances can lengthen the statute of limitations.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Children
The Court of Appeals of Maryland has held that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice doesn’t apply to children until age 18. In most cases, this means that a child has three years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. This rule is different from the rule outlined in the Maryland Code and supersedes that rule.
The law provides an exception to the statute of limitations if the healthcare provider uses fraud to conceal the malpractice. Under this exception, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the patient learns of or should have learned of the fraud. So you may be able to sue a healthcare provider for medical malpractice even after the five-year total statute of limitations.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
A medical malpractice attorney can help determine if your case falls within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice. If so, your attorney knows the best ways to request compensation from a medical provider.
They work with doctors to understand your medical records and find where the doctor made a mistake. They will provide evidence of these mistakes to the hospital or doctor and demand fair compensation. And if needed, your attorney can go to court to fight for your rights and advocate for the money you deserve.
Trust the Professionals at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico
Our attorneys understand the intricacies of medical malpractice cases. We have spent decades fighting for injured patients and have helped recover millions in the process. We can help ensure you don’t miss the med mal statute of limitations in Maryland. Call Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico to get started.