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What is the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case?

In the state of North Carolina, the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim must be filed within three years if the Defendant is a private party, and within two years if the Defendant is a government agency. So when does the clock start ticking?

Though statute laws vary from state to state, the limitations of a medical malpractice or negligence claim in North Carolina are determined by the date a cause of action is found. In other words, the minutes begin to count when the discovery of malpractice or negligence is made, and the last act of the defendant which gave rise to the claim is definitely determined.

Occasionally, the wrongdoing may not be discovered until years after the actual incident. Though a Plaintiff does have up to three years to file suit after a wrongdoing is discovered, the law further states that no lawsuit shall be commenced more than four years after the discovery date. However, there is one exception to this rule. If a party is filing a malpractice suit due to foreign objects being left in the body, such as surgical instruments, he or she may do so up to 10 years after the Defendant's wrongful action.

Consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney if you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence. He or she can assess your case and give an educated opinion as to your chances of succeeding in a courtroom. Though it is a long and complex process, success in these types of cases often results in substantial financial compensation.

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