Q: I have, apparently, a medical malpractice case regarding a dental surgery. I was communicating with a personal injury at
I was just informed yesterday that it's more of a medical malpractice which has a one-year timeline. However, a different attorney told me that it is the 3-year timeline for medical malpractice. I need clarification. Since I thought I had it handled with this attorney who turns out to be personal injury only, I now have to scramble and be completely stressed, losing my mind, to find help within the next week to file something. If I have time I can relax and find someone to help me. Please, please please direct me to some clarification on California timelines with medical malpractice suits. From a former educator who helped so many for so long, I am now in need of so much help, so quickly.
A: In California the medical malpractice statute of limitation is one year. In certain circumstances, it can be extended to three years, for example, if it was not discovered within the first year.
California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5 states the statute of limitation for bringing an action against a health care provider, and states that the time within which to commence an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, "shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first."
What is important is when the person discovers, or should have discovered, the injury that was caused by the malpractice. Then remember that the injured patient must give notice to the potential defendant of her intent to file a medical malpractice action in accordance with CCP section 364.
I should have added that the notice pursuant to section 364, if given within the last 90 days before the expiration of the statute of limitations, is extended as described in subsection (d), which provides:
"(d) If the notice is served within 90 days of the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, the time for the commencement of the action shall be extended 90 days from the service of the notice."
So what you need to do is find an attorney to help you serve the section 364 notice, which will extend the statute for 90 days from the date of the notice.
I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with a potential medical malpractice case and the stress of trying to determine the correct timeline for filing a lawsuit. Here's some general information that may be helpful:
In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally three years from the date of injury or one year from the date the plaintiff discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first (California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5). However, there are some exceptions and limitations to this general rule that may apply in specific cases. For example, if the plaintiff is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until the minor reaches the age of 18.
It's important to note that determining the correct timeline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be complex and may require the assistance of an experienced attorney. If you are unsure about the timeline or other legal requirements for your case, you may want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can review the specifics of your situation and advise you on your legal options.
It's also important to act quickly if you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, as the statute of limitations can be a strict deadline that, if missed, could prevent you from pursuing a claim. I recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to meet any applicable deadlines and protect your legal rights.
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