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Statute Limitations Medical Negligence

Introduction to Statute Limitations Medical Negligence

Medical negligence occurs when a patient is harmed or injured due to the lack of adequate care given to them either by a medical professional or a medical facility. In some cases the patient is able to file a claim in court in order to be compensated for the harm or injury that occurred to them. If the patient can prove that they were harmed or injured due specifically to medical neglect, they can be compensated for their loss. The court will attempt to compensate the patient so that they are in the position they would have been in if the harm or injury did not occur. When considering filing a claim, the patient needs to understand the statute limitations medical negligence.

Statute of Limitations Medical Negligence

When choosing to file a medical negligence claim against a doctor, nurse, hospital or other, it is important for you to realise that you have a specific amount of time in which you are allowed to file your claim. In the UK the statute limitations medical negligence is usually three years from the date the harm or injury was done or the date when the patient found out that there was medical negligence. Although the courts are given generous leeway with the statute limitations medical negligence, they usually stick firm to this three year limit. To be sure your case is not dismissed; you should file your complaint in plenty of time with the courts.

There are a few exceptions to the statute limitation medical negligence laws to provide for children and the mentally impaired. For children, the statute of limitation does not begin until they reach the age of eighteen no matter how long ago the harm or injury was done. So if a person was harmed or injured due to medical negligence and was under the age of eighteen at the time, they have until their twenty-first birthday to file a complaint with the courts. People who are mentally impaired, due to a brain injury or other reason, have no set time frame in which they need to file a complaint with the court. The courts consider people who are mentally impaired unable to understand the court system's time limits and therefore should not be bound to them.

Reasoning for Statute of Limitations

The main reasoning behind the statute limitations medical negligence is to not give an unfair advantage to the claimant. When too much time goes by, the defendant whether it is a doctor, hospital or other will be greatly disadvantaged because they will not remember important facts of the case. Since a large factor in medical negligence cases is the process the medical professional or facility use to make their decision, it is important that this process be fresh in their mind. It may also be hard for the defendant to gather relevant witnesses to help support their case. With these factors in mind, the government created the statute limitations medical negligence laws so the claimant would not purposely wait a long time to make it hard for the defendant to create a defence.

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