If you reside in Arizona and want to sue a health care practitioner or hospital for medical negligence, you have a lot to consider. Because these claims are notoriously difficult, you will almost definitely require hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to advocate for you and manage all of the facts.
Nonetheless, it would be best if you had a general comprehension of the procedure. This article provides a summary of the essential medical negligence statute of limitations rules in Arizona.
The Discovery Rule and Arizona’s Statute of Limitations
A “statute of limitations” is a legal provision that establishes a deadline for filing a suit in court. The statute of limitations in Arizona for medical negligence claims is two years following the date of the injury or act of medical negligence (Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-542(1) (2021)).
Typically, this implies that the facts giving rise to the case occurred when the plaintiff (the person suing) was harmed due to the defendant’s medical provider’s claimed medical malpractice.
Nevertheless, in medical malpractice claims, Arizona courts have constantly used what is termed the “discovery rule.” According to this ruling, the 2-year statute of limitations commences once plaintiffs realized (or ought to have discovered with “due diligence”) that their damages were caused by medical malpractice.
Generally, it is not always evident whether an individual who has suffered an injury following medical care should be aware that the injury was caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider. Or, in the perspective of the Arizona Supreme Court, when one should be “put on notice” to look into that likelihood (Walk v. Ring, 44 P.3d 990 (Ariz. Sup. Ct. 2002)). This might occur immediately if the patient has an unanticipated dire consequence following medical care.
So, if you submit a medical negligence claim well over two years following the diagnosis or medical care, which appears to have resulted in your injuries, the defendant will almost certainly request that your claim be dismissed. The jury (court) will then scrutinize the facts to determine if you delayed excessively long.
If you want to prevent that unpredictability, and in turn, the possibility of having your case dismissed, you should talk to a lawyer immediately, you suspect you have been the victim of medical negligence.
When the Statute of Limitations Can Be Prolonged
In Arizona, the two-year limit for initiating a medical negligence claim is “tolled” (legalese for “paused”) under specific conditions, including:
- If the victim (plaintiff) is a minor (below 18 years)
- If the plaintiff lacks mental ability to file the action
- If the defendant’s clinical provider is located outside of the state (Arizona Revised Statutes 12-501, 12-502 (2021).)
Contact Karnas Law Firm
Contact Karnas Law Firm if you suspect you or somebody you care about has been the victim of medical negligence. In a free, no-obligation claim examination, the legal experts will analyze your circumstances.
If you claim damages, they will work diligently to bring the liable party to justice and obtain full reparation for you. Call at (520) 389-5225 to talk to an expert Car Accident attorney about your case today.
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