What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Alaska?
Alaska, like a number of other states, has a broad statute
of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases in addition to standard personal
injury cases. But first things first, in case your legalese is rusty: A “statute
of limitations” limits a prospective plaintiff’s right to file a lawsuit after
he or she has suffered some kind of harm. Basically, these laws set a deadline
on when the case must get started -- when the initial complaint must be filed
in civil court, in other words.
So, what does the law say in Alaska? The standard statute of
limitations as it applies to a medical malpractice lawsuit gives you two years to get your lawsuit filed,
starting from the date the harm was inflicted. That typically means two years
from when the alleged medical
error occurred, but in some cases it can mean two years from the date
on which you discover -- or could reasonably have been expected to discover --
that you were harmed by medical malpractice.
Of course, if you are relying on this so called “discovery”
exception to the statute of limitations in Alaska, as the plaintiff you have the burden of proving that you did not discover --
and could not have reasonably discovered -- the existence of the claim within
the two-year time limit.
You can read the full text of Alaska’s statute of limitations for
injury lawsuits at Alaska
Statutes section 09.10.070.
If you try to file the case after the deadline has passed,
the court will almost certainly throw it out. In a malpractice case, usually what
happens is the doctor or health care entity you are trying to sue points out
that the statutory deadline has passed, they file a motion to dismiss the case,
the court grants it, and that’s the end of the story. So, it’s crucial to pay
attention to the statute of limitations as it applies to your medical malpractice
Learn more about Medical Malpractice Cases In-Depth.
by: David Goguen,