Statute of Limitations in Medical Negligence cases
The Statute of Limitations is the period of time that a patient, who was unhappy with the care and treatment received from a medical practitioner and/or hospital, has to issue proceedings against that doctor and/or hospital.
The timeframe within which to bring a medical negligence claim is currently set at two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date of knowledge of the injury.
This two-year period does not apply to minors (under the age of 18) for whom the two-year Statute of Limitations time frame does not run until the minor turns 18, therefore in these instances, a minor can bring a claim up until their 20th birthday, regardless of whether the injury occurred two years ago or ten years ago.
Another exception to the two-year Statute of Limitation period is in instances where the patient is under a disability and does not have the capacity to instruct a Solicitor within the two year timeframe.
A patient’s date of knowledge can be somewhat of a movable feast therefore if they fall outside of the two year period, they may seek to rely on their date of knowledge of the injury. It is important to note that the two year Statute of Limitations does not begin until the patient becomes aware of their injury, for example, if a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a condition, although the misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose occurred on a certain date, the patient would not have knowledge of the error until the correct diagnosis is made, therefore the two year Statute of Limitations would not begin until the patient became aware of the misdiagnosis.
Due to the strict two-year Statute of Limitation timeframe, it is important that you act quickly and as soon as you are aware of the misdiagnosis/negligence by your doctor and/or hospital as there is a considerable amount of expert investigative work required in order to prove a cause of action prior to issuing proceedings. In order to prove you have a cause of action, your legal team must first show an error was made and that that error was so gravely wrong that another medical practitioner, of equal expertise and training, would not have made that mistake.
Once negligence is established, your legal team must then prove that an injury was suffered, and that there is a direct link between the mistake made and the injury suffered. This is known as causation.
Tormeys Solicitors have a dedicated legal team who specialise in medical negligence and misdiagnosis cases and if you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, please contact our dedicated experienced medical negligence team without delay on 09064 93456 or enquire below.
(This information is for guidance purpose only and no liability is accepted by Tormeys Solicitors for any action taken in reliance of the information provided above.)