What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nebraska?

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Question:

What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nebraska?

Answer:

Anyone intending to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nebraska must pay attention to and follow the statute of limitations, which is a law that limits the amount of time you have to get your case started in the state’s civil court system.

You can find Nebraska’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits at Nebraska Revised Statutes section 44-2828, and it says that this kind of case must be filed within two years of the date on which the alleged medical error occurred, except that if the malpractice “is not discovered and could not be reasonably discovered” within that two-year period, “the action may be commenced within one year from the date of such discovery or from the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier.” In other words, if you don’t discover the malpractice right away, the one-year “clock” starts running when you actually do learn about it, or should have discovered it, at least in the eyes of the law.

There is also a larger catch-all filing deadline (known as a “statute of repose” in legalese) in Nebraska, which says that any medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within ten years from the date on which the medical professional’s (or facility’s) alleged negligent act was committed.  So, once ten years have passed, your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is lost in Nebraska, even if you didn’t know (and couldn’t have known) that you were harmed by malpractice during that time.

Finally, if the prospective plaintiff in a medical malpractice case is under the age of 21 at the time the alleged malpractice was committed, Nebraska Revised Statutes section 25-213 says that the statute of limitations is “tolled” (meaning it doesn’t run) until that person turns 21.   

If Nebraska’s statute of limitations filing deadline has passed and you try to file the case anyway, you can count on the defendant asking the court to dismiss the case, and the court granting the motion. Once that happens, that’s the end of your lawsuit. Get more details on the Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases.

by: David Goguen, J.D.

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