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When someone has been harmed by medical malpractice, the most pressing thing on their mind is recovery. Going into the hospital for surgery or any other procedure is stressful enough, but enduing painful complications adds to the stress. Often, it is not until much later that a patient or family member realizes that the complications were a result of negligent practices by staff members. For good reason, New Jersey allows time for discovery of the true nature of the condition.
Each state has a statute of limitations that applies to filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice. Because of this, there is some confusion among people regarding the time allowed for filing a case. New Jersey applies a simple statute of limitations. The law in this state is that from the time the injury was inflicted, a person has two years to file a negligence claim.
One of the legal rules used in the United States is known as the discovery rule. Some states use only this rule, some not at all. New Jersey applies the rule in some cases. Because of this, the two-year deadline is not absolute. Instead, the courts may decide to extend the deadline for filing from the time of discovery in some cases. This permits a patient who had no possible way of knowing that medical negligence caused their worsened condition to file a claim for damages.
But know that the doctor or hospital will file a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the statute of limitations has passed. Unless there is compelling reason to accept the petition, the case is usually dismissed by the judge.
The only safe way to file a claim for medical malpractice is to do so within the two-year limit.
The only exception New Jersey allows involves birth-related malpractice claims. When medical negligence results in harm to an infant during birth, the law allows an extended period for filing a claim. A claimant has until the 13th birthday of the minor to file a medical malpractice lawsuit under New Jersey law.
Injuries resulting from hospital or doctor negligence may be minor or severe. In some cases, the patient may pass away. In others, a devastating life-long condition may result. As long as the case is filed within the legal statute of limitations, the patient or family has a right to sue for damages. These include actual damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers at the Folkman Law Offices will meet with you at no charge to determine the validity of your case. We will fight vigorously to make sure that you receive just and fair compensation for your injuries. To begin, complete our online form or call 856-354-9444. We serve clients harmed by medical malpractice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.