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Understanding the statute of limitations for medical malpractice

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Navigating the legal world of medical malpractice can be tough, especially when dealing with an injury. When facing this situation, it’s critical to understand the statute of limitations, which sets the deadline for filing your claim.

What is the statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations sets a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit after an incident. In Kentucky, this period is crucial in medical malpractice cases because it affects your ability to seek justice and compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence.

Time limits for filing a claim

  • One-year rule: You have one year from the date you knew or should have known about the injury to file a medical malpractice claim.
  • Discovery rule: If the injury wasn’t obvious right away, the one-year period starts from the date you discovered or should have discovered the injury.
  • Absolute deadline: You cannot file a claim more than five years after the date the alleged malpractice occurred, no matter when you discovered the injury.

Special considerations

For minors under 18, the statute of limitations starts when they turn 18. However, the five-year absolute deadline still applies. If a healthcare provider hides the malpractice, the statute of limitations may extend to allow for the discovery of the fraud.

Why knowing the statute of limitations matters

Understanding and following the statute of limitations is essential, and acting quickly helps preserve important evidence and ensures you protect your legal rights. If you think you have a medical malpractice claim, knowing these timelines can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.