What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?

Photo of two doctors passing a scalpel between them

Photo of two doctors passing a scalpel between themA statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time a person has when bringing a case to court. There are different statutes of limitations for different types of cases. Under Georgia Code section 9-3-71, medical negligence lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date in which injury occurred due to malpractice. However, if a medical malpractice victim does not discover the injury until later on, the law allows that person to file up to five years following the date of injury. This is based on a “statute of repose.” This means that, regardless of the date of an injury’s discovery, the victim has five years to file.

Other exceptions apply. For example, if a victim discovers a foreign object inside his or her body, upon discovery, that patient has one year to file a lawsuit. This is regardless of the two and five-year statutes of limitations. There may also be special rules if a patient is “legally incompetent” or under the age of five.

Facts and Statistics Regarding Medical Malpractice

Did you know that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States? Even above car accidents, a shocking amount of people die due to medical provider errors. The only things that cause more deaths are heart disease and cancer.

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider violates a recognized standard of care and a patient suffers injury. Malpractice can take many forms, from misdiagnosis to delayed diagnosis to medication errors to surgical errors. If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should act quickly. Our medical malpractice attorneys have helped victims recover millions in damages for their pain and suffering.