Model Medical Harm Disclosure Act

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When does a medical malpractice case expire? When can I go to court for a medical malpractice? How much time do I have to file a lawsuit against a doctor, hospital, nurse, paramedic, medical staff? When does a medical malpractice case become time-barred? These are some of the most frequently asked questions in medical malpractice cases.

A treatment process that was not successful often prompts us to look for the blame. Every now and then the media reports about mistakes made during treatment, about nosocomial infections, and about a whole range of irregularities between the patient and the healthcare service. As a result, patients and their families more and more often and more willingly seek the broadly understood “justice”. Dissatisfied, they go to the courts, where they fight for compensation, compensation for the harm done to them. Before they begin to determine who may be responsible for a particular medical event, they also frequently ask themselves:

How much time I have?

1. A claim for compensation for damage caused by a tort shall become time-barred after three years from the date on which the aggrieved party learned or with due diligence could learn about the damage and about the person obliged to repair it. However, this period may not be longer than ten years from the date on which the event giving rise to the damage occurred.

2. If the damage resulted from a crime or misdemeanor, the claim for damages shall be barred by the expiry of twenty years from the date of the offense, regardless of when the injured party learned about the damage and about the person obliged to repair it.

3. In the event of damage to a person, the limitation period may not end earlier than three years from the date on which the aggrieved party learned about the damage and about the person obliged to repair it.

4. The limitation period for a minor’s claims for compensation for personal injury may not end sooner than two years from the date on which he or she comes of age.

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