If you’ve been harmed by the negligent or wrongful actions of a health care provider, you have only a limited amount of time to bring legal action. Medical malpractice claims are notoriously complicated and difficult to litigate, and the amount of time and preparation that goes into creating the strongest possible case is significant.
At Peterson Law Office, we provide unparalleled legal representation to those who have been injured at the hands of the health care industry. We provide free, no obligation case evaluations to victims of medical malpractice in the Lexington, KY area, and invite you to schedule your consultation as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more you risk losing out on your opportunity to take legal action.
The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Kentucky
A statute of limitations is the timeframe in which you must bring a civil claim or forfeit your right to take legal action. Kentucky statute 413.140 grants a one-year statute of limitations for acts of medical malpractice.
This means that you have only one year to meet with a lawyer, build a case, and file your medical malpractice lawsuit. This timeline is intimidating, but Peterson Law Office is here to help.
Exceptions to Kentucky’s Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Fortunately, Kentucky state law permits several exceptions to the limited statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. Let’s take a closer look at circumstances that might extend the initial one-year limit you have for bringing medical malpractice claims in our state.
Age of Majority
The age of majority is considered the age at which a person legally becomes an adult. In Kentucky, the age of majority is 18. The statute of limitations does not apply to anyone who suffered an act of medical malpractice as a child, and only goes into effect once they reach the age of 18. This gives the victim until the age of 19 to file a lawsuit, even if the malpractice that caused their injury occurred when they were much younger.
The Discovery Rule
The impact of a medical error is not always obvious, especially if an individual was simultaneously dealing with other serious medical problems. For this reason, the statute of limitations does not apply until a person “discovers” that they have suffered harm. There are exceptions to this rule of discovery, though, which the insurance company will likely try to exploit.
Determining whether you have an exception under the discovery rule requires intricate knowledge of Kentucky tort law. Contact Peterson Law Office today to learn more about how this rule might affect your case.
The statute of limitations for an individual with a mental disability can potentially be unlimited. This exception applies the idea of mental disability broadly, and may refer to someone living with something like Down Syndrome, or an individual with a temporary impairment, like a traumatic brain injury.
A statute of limitations does not apply to anyone who has a mental disability. This exception gives those suffering from a temporary disabling injury the opportunity to recover before the one-year timeframe goes into effect. For others who are living with life-long mental disabilities, this rule creates an indefinite amount of time to build and file a case.
Ongoing and Continual Treatment
Even if a patient discovered a medical malpractice injury relatively soon after it occurred, they may extend their statute of limitations by undergoing continual treatment with the at-fault doctor. However, it is important to note that this rule is only applicable when a victim receives continual care from the medical professional who caused them harm. Receiving treatment for the same medical issue but with a different doctor will not extend the statute of limitations.
We realize that continuing to work with a medical professional who caused you harm can be distressing, and at no point should you compromise your physical or emotional well-being in an effort to extend your statute of limitations. Instead, seek competent care from a different doctor and then schedule a free consultation with Peterson Law Office to discuss your timeframe to take legal action.
Working Within the Statute of Limitations
It is exceedingly important that you work within the statute of limitations as set forth by Kentucky state law. Even the above exceptions set strict limitations on how long you have to build and file your medical malpractice lawsuit. Working within such a narrow window of time can be next to impossible when you are also dealing with the physical, financial, and emotional ramifications of a serious medical injury.
In most cases, the stress of this situation can be alleviated by partnering with an experienced law firm. At Peterson Law Office, our attorneys provide the following services that ensure your case is filed within the statute of limitations:
- Review your medical records and any doctor’s notes
- Investigate whether the doctor or health care facility have any past incidents of medical malpractice
- Work with relevant medical experts who are willing to testify on your behalf
- Correctly value the worth of your claim
- Build a strong case that fully reflects the harm you’ve suffered
Peterson Law Office Is Here for Medical Malpractice Victims
Medical malpractice is preventable. If you’ve been injured as a result of a doctor’s, surgeon’s, or other health care professional’s wrongful actions, we’re here to hold them accountable.
We are pleased to provide case evaluations at no cost to victims of medical malpractice and their families. When we meet in this no-obligation setting, we’ll go over the details of your case, whether you have a legal standing to file a lawsuit, Kentucky’s medical malpractice statute of limitations, and any other questions or concerns you may have. There is no need to wait; contact our law office today.
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