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Medical Negligence Statute of Limitations

I had a shoulder operation last year — however I believe the surgeon has been negligent as I suffered nerve damage. What is the medical negligence statute of limitations?

The medical negligence statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of knowledge on which you were diagnosed with the injury which was sustained from the alleged negligence. However it should be noted that medical negligence claims can be difficult to make, and as a result the time limit for medical negligence claims should be well-noted. Gathering evidence in support of claims for medical negligence can be difficult and may also be time-consuming. For this reason, you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity if you wish to pursue compensation for medical negligence.

While the medical negligence statute of limitations is generally three years, this can depend on the specific circumstances of your accident and injury. The time limit for medical negligence claims generally begins on the date of knowledge upon which an injury occurred. This means if you have only recently been diagnosed with your nerve damage injury which stemmed from the operation you underwent, you will have three years in which to make claims for medical negligence, starting from the date on which you were diagnosed. It is possible that if you were diagnosed with your injury shortly after your operation, as a year would have already passed you will have two years in which to claim compensation for medical negligence.

The medical negligence statute of limitations will be different if a child has been injured on account of an allegedly incompetent surgeon. Children below the age of eighteen are legally unable to initiate claims for medical negligence, and cannot instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf. For this reason a parent or guardian — acting as a “litigation friend” on behalf of the child — can initiate a claim to compensation for medical negligence on behalf of the child at any point until their eighteenth birthday. At this point, the time limit for medical negligence claims will apply in which to make a claim, meaning the victim of negligence will have until their twenty-first birthday to make a claim.

It should be remembered that claims for medical negligence can be difficult to initiate, and for this reason you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity once you are aware that you have sustained an injury. Strong evidence will have to be gathered to determine that the medical professional had acted carelessly before you can claim compensation for medical negligence. This will often have to be verified by another medical professional, and as gathering this evidence may push initiation of this claim close to the time limit for medical negligence claims, you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity to ensure your claim is not time-barred by the medical negligence statute of limitations.