Pursuing a medical malpractice claim against a doctor can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to manage any injuries sustained due to the doctor’s negligence, but you must also prepare for a complex malpractice claim. This can be especially demanding if you are unsure about the length of time you have to pursue your lawsuit against a negligent doctor. If you or a family member suffered an injury due to the negligent actions of a doctor, consult with an experienced Fayetteville medical malpractice lawyer today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can help you build a claim against a doctor that is responsible for your injuries. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak is here to explain how long a claimant has to sue a doctor in Arkansas.
Arkansas Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Against Doctors
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner fails to provide a patient with the common standard of care that is expected in their particular specialized field. For example, if a doctor fails to inform a mother that birth by cesarean section would be safer for her and her child, they could be held liable for a maternal birth injury.
If you believe that your doctor committed malpractice and their actions led to your injury, you should consider filing a lawsuit against that doctor. However, potential plaintiffs should be aware that the statute of limitations could affect their claim if they do not promptly pursue a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations dictates the length of time that a person has to file a lawsuit. The filing deadline can change depending on the type of lawsuit that a claimant needs to file. For example, a lawsuit for medical malpractice may have a different filing deadline than a lawsuit based on personal injury.
In Arkansas, medical malpractice lawsuits have a two-year filing deadline from the date of the malpractice. If a claimant does not file their claim before the expiration of the two-year deadline, they risk having the court bar their claim. Specifically, the defendant in the case can motion for the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim with prejudice, meaning the plaintiff cannot refile their case. If this happens, the claimant will be unable to pursue legal compensation for their injuries.
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. For example, if a surgeon left a medical instrument inside a patient during surgery, it could take the patient weeks, months, or even years to discover the instrument. Under these circumstances, the State of Arkansas has given claimants one year to file their lawsuit beginning on the date the foreign object was discovered instead of the date the surgical error was committed.
If the patient was a minor when they were a victim of medical malpractice, their filing deadline could be extended. Specifically, minors under the age of nine will have until their 11th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Alternatively, a parent or guardian may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor.
To learn more about the purpose of the statute of limitations, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Springdale medical malpractice lawyer.
Purpose of the Statute of Limitations
As mentioned, the statute of limitations places a filing deadline on civil and criminal legal actions. However, it may seem odd to a plaintiff that they must adhere to a strict timeframe for their case. This is especially true if the victim is concerned about the costs of litigation or litigating a case while severely injured.
The statute of limitations has benefits for the plaintiff and the defendant. The filing deadline encourages a plaintiff to pursue their case in a timely fashion. Alternatively, a filing deadline ensures that a defendant does not have to remain worried about a lawsuit that may never be filed.
Despite the length of time provided by the statute of limitations, a potential plaintiff should look to file their claim as soon as possible. There are a number of factors that could affect a plaintiff’s case if they wait too long to file a lawsuit. For example, waiting years to file a case could lead to valuable evidence being destroyed. Under other circumstances, a key witness could have trouble remembering the important details of the case.
Our Dedicated Arkansas Doctor Negligence + Malpractice Lawyer is Here for You
If you were a victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Malpractice attorney Ken Kieklak possesses nearly two decades of legal experience, and he is ready to use this experience to fight complex medical malpractice claims for residents of Arkansas. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact Ken Kieklak by using our online submission form.