Statute of Limitations in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases: Time Limits and ExceptionsOctober 30, 2023
In every personal injury case, you have a deadline to file. If you miss the deadline, you will not have any remaining claim for compensation. In other words, your legal right to total and fair financial compensation has a shelf life.
Maryland has a two-tier statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases. The relevant time deadlines are:
- Five years from the date of your injury.
- Three years from the date of discovery of your injury.
The statute of limitations is based on whichever comes first. If you file a lawsuit because your loved one died from medical malpractice, you would have three years from the date of death to file the case.
Discovery Rule in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases
Maryland law helps plaintiffs by giving them the second option. In effect, this is what is known as the discovery rule. Sometimes, you may not know exactly when the injury occurred. For example, the doctor may not have performed a surgery well, but you do not know until years after the fact that you may need another procedure. Thus, the time clock starts to run when you realize you suffered an injury due to a doctor’s medical malpractice.
Realistically, you would not usually wait three or five years to begin the legal process. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer right after you have been injured. You would be worried about the statute of limitations when you have tried to negotiate a settlement and time has elapsed. There are very few exceptions, and you have the burden of proof to show that one applies.
Possible Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
Here are exceptions to the statute of limitations in Maryland medical malpractice cases:
- The deadline for a minor to file a lawsuit begins on their 18th birthday, and they must file the case by the time they turn 21. However, the time clock does start to run when the child reaches 11 if the injury occurred when they were under that age.
- The defendant actively kept you from learning the basis of your medical malpractice case.
- Actions against the state or a governmental entity must be filed within one year.
You Cannot Miss the Statute of Limitations
You do not have any leeway when it comes to the statute of limitations. If you miss it by even one day, you may ultimately lose the right to file a claim or a lawsuit. The court would not even try to hear your claim on the merits. Instead, the judge would dismiss it without even reaching trial.
Contact Our Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for Legal Help
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence from a healthcare provider, contact our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.