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

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Question:

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

Answer:

Like a lot of states in the U.S., Nevada has a specific “statute of limitations” that anyone looking to file a medical malpractice lawsuit must abide by. For those who aren’t fluent in legalese, a statute of limitations is a law that sets out a strict limit (expressed in years) on the amount of time you have to go to court and get the case started.  In Nevada, that means filing not only the initial complaint but also a sworn affidavit from a qualified expert medical witness who states that your case has merit.

You can find Nevada’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits at Nevada Revised Statutes section 41A.097, and it states that “an action for injury or death against a provider of health care may not be commenced more than 3 years after the date of injury or 1 year after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first.”

What if Nevada’s three-year deadline has passed, but you try to file the lawsuit anyway? It’s a safe bet that the doctor or health care facility you’re trying to sue will file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case, and the court will almost certainly grant the motion. If that happens, that’s the end of your lawsuit, and you’ve lost the right to ask the court to provide you with a civil remedy for even the most egregious and harmful medical error.  That’s why it is so crucial to pay attention to the statute of limitations as it applies to your case.

The most common exception to the statute of limitations in Nevada comes into play when the defendant doctor or health care provider “conceal[s] any act, error or omission upon which the action is based and which is known or through the use of reasonable diligence should have been known” to the defendant. In that situation, the statute of limitations is “tolled” or stops running for as long as the concealment of the alleged malpractice continues.

by: David Goguen, J.D.

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