is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Mississippi?
Like a lot of states, Mississippi has a dedicated statute of
for a medical
malpractice lawsuit. But first, some background for readers who
aren’t fluent in the language of “legalese.” A statute of limitations is a state law that
sets a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after you have suffered
some type of loss or injury.
Mississippi’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases,
which is codified at Mississippi Code section 15-1-36 specifies that the
injured patient must file their claim within two years of the date on which the health care provider committed
the alleged malpractice, or on which with “reasonable diligence” the malpractice “might have been first
known or discovered.”
Keep in mind that if you are relying
on this “discovery rule,” as the plaintiff you have the burden of proving that
you did not discover right away that the malpractice occurred, and that you could
not have reasonably discovered the malpractice until you actually did.
There is a larger catch-all filing deadline for medical malpractice lawsuits in Mississippi, which says
that this kind of case cannot be filed “more than seven years after the alleged act, omission or
neglect occurred.” This is known as a “statute of repose,” and it means that no
lawsuit can be filed if more than seven years have passed since the malpractice
occurred, regardless of whether the patient had a reasonable opportunity to
discover that he or she was harmed by it. The only exceptions to this larger
seven-year deadline are cases where a foreign object was left in a surgical
patient, or when the malpractice was concealed through the defendant’s fraud.
In those situations, the two-year “clock” starts running once the occurrence of
error would have been discovered with reasonable diligence.
Now, what happens if Mississippi’s statute of limitations
deadline has passed, and you try to file your lawsuit anyway? It’s a safe bet
that the doctor or health care facility you’re trying to sue will ask the court
to dismiss the case, and the court will grant the request. If that happens,
that will be the end of your lawsuit. Learn more about the Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Case.
by: David Goguen,