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For the medical malpractice statute limitation in NJ are there any provisions if you...

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beyondmeasure | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:27 AM via web

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For the medical malpractice statute limitation in NJ are there any provisions if you didn't know who was at fault for your malpractice claim.

It wasn't pointed out who was at fault until one hospital investigated the claim and it was another hospital's negligance.

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prospero | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 4, 2008 at 7:41 AM (Answer #1)

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A statute of limitations is a law that applies a time-limit to the amount of time that any person has to pursue a legal claim (or right) against another.  The length of time permitted by the statute to bring the claim is typically dependent on the type of claim at issue.  For instance, a claim arising from a written contract is likely to have a longer statute of limitations than would a claim arising from an oral contract.

Your issue, being one of medical malpractice, would likely fall under the statute of limitations for professional negligence (though there may be a specific statute of limitations for medical malpractice in your state).  Ordinarily, the clock would start ticking on your statute of limitations once the injury (legally meaning right to recovery) is discovered.  This is called the discovery rule.

If you have discovered damages, but do not know who is at fault, the statute of limitations has probably begun running on your claim.  You should seek out legal counsel to help establish who is at fault so that the claim can be filed in time.  Often a plaintiff will have to sue more than one defendant to preserve the plaintiff's rights against the party actually at fault.  As long as there is a legitimate basis for the complaint, this is a proper practice.

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