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How long do I have to file a claim against my doctor?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence or error of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, you need to act quickly because there is a limited time window to file a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky.

Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional (doctor, dentist, nurse, etc.) fails to meet the standard of care expected of them in their field. If that failure resulted in an injury, illness or death to the patient, medical malpractice likely occurred.

There are many examples of medical malpractice. This includes the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a disease or some other condition. It can also include surgical errors or complications, or medication errors or adverse medication reactions. Medical malpractice also includes birth injuries and defects. And, it includes errors that occurred in an otherwise successful surgery, like anesthesia errors or complications, subsequent infections or sepsis, a failure to obtain informed consent, failure to monitor or follow up, etc.

Kentucky Statute of Limitations

The Kentucky statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in our state. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is 1 year from the date of the injury, the date when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. This means that you must file your claim within 1 year of knowing or having reason to know that you were harmed by a medical provider’s malpractice.

Exceptions and extensions to the SOL

However, there are some exceptions and extensions to this rule. For example, if the injury was caused by a foreign object left inside the body during surgery, such as a sponge or a clamp, the statute of limitations is 1 year from the date of discovery or 5 years from the date of surgery, whichever is earlier.

Another example is if your injury was caused by exposure to radiation, such as from an x-ray or a CT scan. In those cases, the statute of limitations is 1 year from the date of discovery or 5 years from the date of exposure, whichever is earlier.

Yet another example is if you were injured as a minor. In that case, the SOL is 1 year from the date of your 18th birthday or 1 year from the date of discovery, whichever is later.

Though, if the injured person is mentally incompetent, the SOL is tolled, or paused. This pause stays in place until the injured person regains their mental capacity or until a guardian is appointed for them. The SOL is why it is so important to fight back immediately.