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Time’s Up! Beware Of The Statute Of Limitations

Statute Of Limitations: Military Medical Malpractice Cases

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, you may feel that you should adopt a “wait-and-see” approach with respect to your injury, or perhaps you don’t “feel up to” deciding whether you want to pursue your legal remedies. You should, however, bear in mind that the law requires you to pursue legal remedies sooner rather than later. This requirement is generally known as the “statute of limitations.” If you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations you may be forever barred from bringing your claim, regardless of the merit of your claim. Therefore, even if you do are not sure whether you want to pursue legal action, consulting with an experienced military medical malpractice attorney is essential to preserve your potential claim.  If an injury and/or negligent medical care occurs at a military hospital in the United States or overseas, the Federal Tort Claims Act and Military Claims Act provide that a claim must be filed within two (2) years of the injury or when the claimant knew or should have known/suspected the injury and its cause.

Common Misconceptions or Mistakes made by Military Families Regarding Malpractice Claims

One common mistake made by military families is waiting to contact an attorney or file a claim until after they are off active duty because they are concerned that their military career or subsequent military health care may be harmed in some way. FILING A CLAIM WILL NOT DAMAGE YOUR MILITARY CAREER OR JEOPARDIZE SUBSEQUENT HEALTH CARE.

Another common mistake made by military families is the assumption that if the injured person is an infant or a minor that they have until the child attains the age of majority (18) before filing a claim. This is not true and it is heartbreaking to have to tell a family their have no remedy because they mistakenly assumed  they had more time.   THE TWO (2) YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS APPLIES TO EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE A CHILD OR INCOMPETENT FOR ANY REASON.   There are a few limited exceptions, so even if it has been more than two years, contact us and we will see if any of the exceptions are available to you.

A third mistake made is not contacting a lawyer because they believe an active duty member cannot sue the military.  This is true only if the active duty person is also the one who was physically injured.  AN ACTIVE DUTY PERSON CAN ALWAYS FILE A CLAIM IF HIS/HER SPOUSE OR CHILD IS THE INJURED INDIVIDUAL.

Conclusion

The statute of limitations cuts off a person’s right to seek compensation for an injury.  Many of the triggering events for the statute of limitations are tied to what a plaintiff knew or should have known about his injury and its cause.  It is, therefore, important to consult an attorney experienced in medical malpractice claims involving the United States military health care system. An experienced attorney can analyze the facts surrounding your case to determine the following: when the malpractice occurred, when you would have been reasonably expected to know you were injured, whether the time for filing a claim can be lengthened due to the circumstances of your case, and what recourse you may have for your injury.

We provide a free, confidential consultation 24/7 by phone (1-877-695-8757), e-mail LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com or by filling out our short form at the top right side of this page.

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