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What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit In Delaware?

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be pretty complicated when compared to other types of lawsuits. You need to know the laws of your state if you want to maximize your chances of winning. To help you out with that, here is a simplified explanation of how the statute of limitations works for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Delaware:

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations (as found in statute 6856 of Delaware's Title 18) tells you exactly how long you have to file a lawsuit and is pretty clear-cut in most situations. However, medical malpractice can get pretty complicated since there are a number of different exceptions to keep track of.

The baseline amount of time is 2 years, which starts counting on the date of the malpractice. If the malpractice lasted over a period of time, then the clock starts on the last date that malpractice occurred. If the two years are up, then your lawsuit is unlikely to succeed, unless you fit into one of the following exceptions.

  1. If you didn't discover your injuries in spite of your best efforts, then you can have an additional year, bringing the grand total up to 3 years. While this may sound a little nebulous, the general idea is that you can't have known about your injuries and ignored them until the statute of limitations expired. If you knew that you were a victim of medical malpractice, then you need to file in the 2 years given to you.

  2. If the victim was under 6 years old at the time of the malpractice and you are filing on their behalf, then you can file any time before they turn 6. Of course, the above rules still apply and the longer limit is used, so if the victim was 5 years old at the time of the injury, then they have 2 years rather than just 1.

  3. If sexual abuse was involved, there is no statute of limitations. Specifically, the alleged sexual abuse needs to qualify as a criminal act as well.

  4. Finally, you can get a 90 day extension if you are planning on filing, but were unable to do so for some reason. To get this extension, you need to send a notice to each of the defendants, while also keeping a copy of the notice for yourself. If you end up filing your lawsuit within 90 days of the statute of limitations expiring, then showing your copy will allow you to proceed with a lawsuit. However, you need to have made a good faith effort to get the notice to the defendant. If you try to send the notice to a residence that you know that they no longer live at or a building that they no longer occupy, then your extension will be denied.

If you need help with your lawsuit, contact someone from a company like The Gil Law Firm.