Asheville Statute of Limitations Lawyers
Our Knowledgeable Attorneys Can Advise You
When you’ve been injured because of medical malpractice, acting quickly to take legal action might not be the first thing on your mind as you begin the road to recovery. You may not even be aware that you’ve been injured until time has passed. But the sooner you act, the better the odds your attorney can find success in court or in settlement negotiations. Hensley Cloninger & Greer has over 30 years of experience fighting medical malpractice cases.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in North Carolina
In most cases, North Carolina law requires that any medical malpractice lawsuit be brought within three years of the date of injury. There are circumstances where this can be extended. The statute of limitations can be extended to four years if your injury was something you could not have discovered right away. If the injury involves an object left inside your body (i.e., a sponge after surgery), the time frame can go as long as 10 years. However, even in these cases, as soon you become aware of your injury, the statute of limitations clock shortens to one year.
The statute of limitations window goes by quicker than most people might realize. Medical malpractice cases are complex. They involve a lot of documents and discussion with expert witnesses. Furthermore, the attorneys at Hensley Cloninger & Greer want to give you the best possible advice on whether you truly have a winnable malpractice case. A case brought to any lawyer right before the deadline does not allow for adequate investigation and a good assessment.
So, there are good reasons to act as quickly as is reasonably possible in bringing your medical malpractice claim to a lawyer. The statute of limitations is one, but there are other reasons — namely, the question of proving causation.
Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases
There are four hurdles that your legal team must clear to prove negligence on the part of a healthcare provider. For the sake of discussion, let’s presume the first two — duty of care and breach of duty — have been established. But you haven’t won the case yet. It still has to be shown that this professional failure is the cause of your injuries.
The defendant’s legal team will have access to your medical records, meaning they will be aware of any pre-existing conditions. As part of pre-trial depositions, you may be asked under oath about any activities you’ve undertaken in the period since the relevant medical procedure. The legal defense will likely review your social media to get a sense of what your activities include.
The defense counsel’s reason for doing this is to sever any connection between the relevant medical procedure and your injuries. If you’re reporting a back problem that you blame on mistakes during surgery, some photos of you playing a rigorous game of tennis won’t help. If you believe medication errors contributed to a heart problem, the defense will look for other explanations of the heart condition.
The longer the window of time between the relevant medical procedure and your lawsuit, the more scenarios the defense lawyers will be able to offer as alternative explanations. Acting quickly won’t eliminate this challenge, but it will tighten up the window of possibilities that the defense may exploit.
It’s the job of your legal team to be prepared for whatever the defense lawyers come at you with. Experienced lawyers have a good understanding about what these cases involve and what tactics are employed. Hensley Cloninger & Greer has been working and winning personal injury cases for over 30 years. Our attorneys are steeped in the knowledge of defense counsel strategy and understand how to respond and fight for your interests. Our talented staff of paralegals and medical experts only make our legal advocacy stronger .