When you need surgery, you trust the doctors with your life. Unfortunately, there are a handful of doctors who make mistakes which prove costly — and even deadly — for patients. When this happens, it’s important to hire a medical malpractice attorney.

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, an average of 97 percent of medical negligence claims have merit, which is why if you have even the slightest inkling that something was amiss during your surgery you should call a lawyer immediately. Before picking up the phone to call our law office, be sure to understand the Massachusetts time frame’s for filing for medical malpractice.

Three Year Standard Deadline

Massachusetts has a few statute of limitations regarding filing a medical malpractice claim. The standard deadline allots former patients to file within three years of their surgery. Depending on the circumstance, if you miss the three year window, you will lose your right to sue for damages.

Discovery Rule

This rule voids the three year standard deadline for filing. In some instances, patients may not discover there is a post-surgery health issue until much later. The rule must meet the strict requirement that there was no possible way a patient would be able to tell if they had been injured from medical treatment. The lawsuit must also start three years after the injured person first filed the discovery medical malpractice suit.

Limitations for Minor Children

In Massachusetts, children under the age of 18 must file a lawsuit within three years of their legal guardian discovering a health issue that stemmed from medical treatment. A minor child who is less than six years old, however, has until their ninth birthday to file a claim.

Seven Year Statute of Repose

A statute of repose is the absolute longest time a patient has to file a claim. For those who received care in Massachusetts, the absolutely deadline to file a medical malpractice claim is seven years. This rule holds true for all instances except when the leaving of a foreign object in the body is in question.

If you believe you health has suffered as a result of medical mistreatment, then we suggest contacting our New Bedford MA law office today for a free half hour consultation.


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