Utah medical malpractice cases hinge on your ability to prove that negligence occurred in your case. It is necessary to establish that the actions or inactions of a doctor or other health care professional caused you injury or harm.
Before filing a lawsuit, however, you must be aware of the statute of limitations for a malpractice claim. If you wait too long to file your claim, you may find that you no longer have any right to seek damages.
What Are Statutes of Limitation?
The statutes of limitation are laws that mandate time limits for filing legal claims. Basically, these laws set the parameters for how long people have to bring charges or file certain types of legal action. If the deadline passes, the defendant can ask the court to dismiss the case, and the plaintiff loses the opportunity to pursue legal action in the future.
Statutory time limit laws vary from state to state and by cause of action. The deadlines for medical malpractice claims, for example, differ from the time limitations for personal injury or property damage lawsuits.
Statutes of Limitation for Utah Malpractice Claims
Utah medical malpractice lawsuits, just like all other types of legal claims, are subject to strict filing deadlines. In this state, the deadline for bringing legal action against a health care provider is two years from the date of the negligent medical act.
In some cases, however, discovery of damage from medical negligence is not immediate. For these malpractice claims, the statutory time limit for filing claims is two years from when the injury was, or should have been, discovered. With delayed discovery cases, the maximum time limit for filing a claim is four years from the date of the negligent medical act that caused the injury. Unlike the laws in some states, the time limitations for malpractice claims in Utah also apply to cases involving minors.
Statutes of Limitation for Foreign Body Claims
Some medical negligence cases are based on a foreign object — such as a sponge, needle, surgical tool or gauze pad — left in the body after surgery. The statute of limitations in Utah for this type of legal claim is a bit different than the time limits for other malpractice lawsuits. For these cases, a legal suit must be filed within one year of the insertion of the foreign object or within two years from when the object was, or should have been, discovered. As with other Utah malpractice cases, these deadlines apply to everyone, including minors.
If you are considering bringing legal action against a health care professional for medical negligence, an experienced attorney can help you determine if your case falls within the statute of limitations, or if any special circumstances could affect those time constraints. Contact the experienced attorneys at Rasmussen and Miner in Salt Lake City to schedule a consultation. We can help you through the process and assist you with every aspect of your medical malpractice claim.