What is the statute of limitations and how does it affect my case?
Every state has an arbitrary time limit within which a plaintiff must file a claim in court or lose their rights to sue forever. The statute is not the same in every state. Some states are cut and dried when it comes to a time limit. Some states have varying special circumstances to consider. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years. If the individual is under the age of 18, he/she has two years from that birthday to file suit.
In a wrongful death case, the date of death is very specific and unalterable. In cases where the plaintiff is alive and brings the claim, the date of the negligent act may not be known by the plaintiff. In such cases, the rule allows a plaintiff to bring a claim within two years of when the plaintiff first became aware of, or should have been aware of, the negligent act. Thus, a plaintiff who claims a delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer would have two years from the date of a correct diagnosis to file a claim involving the earlier failure. Because the correct interpretation of this statute in such cases may involve a knowledge of case precedents and other legal issues, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney whenever there is any question about the statute of limitations.