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How long does one have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

When a person in Montana is injured due to physician negligence, they may go through a gamut of emotions. They may be frustrated that they are still dealing with a health condition that was made worse due to the physician's error. They may be angry that such a mistake was made in the first place. And, they may be extremely worried about how they are going to cope financially with their medical expenses, lost wages and other monetary damages they suffered due to their physician's negligence.

For all these reasons, a person injured due to a physician's negligence may want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, they should not wait too long to do so. This is because there is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits. A statute of limitations essentially lays out how long a person has to file a lawsuit. Once that time period is up, a person is barred from taking any legal action.

Currently, under Montana Code section 27-2-205, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be brought within either two years following the date the injury occurred, or within two years of when the person should have known, through reasonable diligence, that an injury occurred, whichever takes place last. However, in either situation, a medical malpractice suit cannot be brought if more than five years have passed since the date the person was injured. That being said, the statute of limitations will be tolled if the physician who made the error did not disclose so, and the physician knew or should have known a medical mistake occurred.

Being harmed by medical malpractice can be a devastating situation, emotionally and financially. However, one should not put off taking legal action if appropriate. A personal injury attorney can provide further information about how long one has after being injured due to medical malpractice to file a lawsuit, if appropriate.

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