Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitations
When a medical professional fails to provide a level of care that meets expected standards, the effects can be catastrophic or even deadly. Because medical mistakes and negligence can be so costly, the law allows patients to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek compensation for damages stemming from substandard medical care.
At Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC, in Oklahoma City, OK, we have a team of medical malpractice attorneys ready to help our clients obtain compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, there is only a small window of time in which medical malpractice victims have the chance to act. Here, our clients can learn more about medical malpractice statutes of limitations for the state of Oklahoma.
Statutes of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are essentially deadlines regarding the length of time that a person has to file a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations vary based on what type of case is being filed, as well as the state in which the lawsuit is filed.
In the state of Oklahoma, the law dictates that a person has two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. By default, the two-year deadline begins on the day that the medical error occurs.
We urge patients that suspect they have a medical malpractice claim to seek legal advice as soon as possible so they do not risk losing the opportunity to file a lawsuit.
Are There Exceptions?
Laws regarding statutes of limitations are pretty rigid, but there are a couple of exceptions that may allow a patient to further extend their deadline to file a medical malpractice suit.
If a medical mistake is made, resulting injuries may not be immediately obvious. Fortunately, Oklahoma law states that the two-year statutes of limitations deadline can begin on the day that a patient learns about the injuries, or should have reasonably known that the injuries were linked to substandard medical care.
While this does give patients the opportunity to file a lawsuit beyond the two-year period of the actual date of injury, they will have the burden of proving that the medical error couldn’t have been discovered prior to when it was.
State laws also offer an extension of statues of limitations to patients who are classified as minors or legally incompetent. Depending on the details of each case, the statutes of limitations may not begin until the minor has reached the age of 18, or until the patient is declared legally competent. The laws here are complex, so it is best to discuss the specifics of each lawsuit with our Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorneys to find out if the window to file a lawsuit may still be open.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of medical malpractice, it is important that you act as soon as possible. Contact us at your earliest convenience or call us in Oklahoma City at (405) 607-1400 to learn more about your legal options from the attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC.