How long do I have to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

A nursing home injury or a personal injury caused by hospital negligence or doctor error might provide the victim with a right to obtain compensation from the party whose negligence caused it to happen. Medical professional negligence or, as it is more commonly referred to, medical malpractice is like any other personal injury claim in that a victim has only a limited amount of time within which to file a claim.

Horry County, South Carolina, residents who have experienced a worsened medical condition due to misdiagnosis of a medical condition or a surgical error, such as wrong-site surgery, must file a lawsuit against the responsible person or entity within the time specified under the South Carolina Code of Laws. This time period within which a lawsuit must be filed is referred to as the “statute of limitations.”

According to section 15-3-545 of the Code, medical malpractice lawsuits must be started within three years from the date of the conduct giving rise to the claim. Because there are situations in which a person injured by the negligence of a doctor or hospital might not immediately become aware of the results of the conduct, the law allows the statute of limitations to be counted from the date the victim should have reasonably been expected to become aware of it. Regardless of whether it is computed from the date of discover or from the date of occurrence, the maximum time to file is six years from occurrence.

Surgical errors in which a doctor inadvertently leaves a surgical instrument, sponge or other foreign object in a person must be commenced within two years from either the date of discovery or from the date by which discovery should reasonably have been expected. The law gives a person at least three years from the date on which a surgical error of this type took place to file a lawsuit even if discovery occurred immediately following surgery.

The laws pertaining to statutes of limitations are complex, and this post is intended only as an overview. It is not offered as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. A medical malpractice attorney should be consulted for legal advice about doctor or hospital negligence.


FindLaw Network