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What is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice?

When a patient is harmed because of the negligence of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, they may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. However, recovery is not automatic — there are certain responsibilities a plaintiff must fulfill in order to have a successful claim. One of these responsibilities is filing a claim within the established statute of limitations.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a legal mandate that defines a time period in which legal action related to an event must be initiated. In civil cases, the statute of limitations establishes a deadline for filing a claim. Once the statute of limitations expires, a personal injury claimant will most likely have their case dismissed and will not be able to recover compensation.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Georgia

Statutes of limitations vary among different types of cases and between states. Most personal injury statutes of limitations define a number of years after an event, or after the identification of the effects of an event, during which a person can file a claim. Statutes of limitations may differ within states and case types depending on the circumstances of a case.

In the state of Georgia, medical malpractice plaintiffs must file a claim within the following statutes of limitations:

  • In general medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is two years after the incident occurred.
  • If medical malpractice results in a latent injury, the statute of limitations is five years.
  • If a patient discovers that a foreign object was left in their body by a doctor, the statute of limitations is one year.

For example, a person who sustained an injury because their doctor misdiagnosed their illness would have two years following the occurrence of the injury to file a medical malpractice claim or five years following the incident to file a claim if the misdiagnosis results in an injury later on. The one-year statute of limitations only applies to cases involving a foreign object left in the body during a procedure (such as a surgical tool).

The Dickinson Law Firm, LLC legal team represents victims of medical malpractice in Atlanta and throughout northern Georgia. Contact us to discuss your case.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (770) 924-8155.