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How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Massachusetts?

Law Offices of Stephen D. Walsh July 3, 2023

When a patient is harmed by a medical professional due to negligence, the patient can file a medical malpractice suit. These personal injury cases are very complex, and plaintiffs are required to comply with procedural rules unique to this type of lawsuit.

Massachusetts follows a specific statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits, a law that sets a time limit on when you may file a suit. However, there are rules surrounding when the time period begins.

Under the Massachusetts statute of limitations law, an injured patient has three years to get the lawsuit process started. The three-year period generally begins when an injury occurs, but this isn’t always the case.

Courts can apply the “discovery rule” in medical malpractice cases to protect injured patients who may not know about an injury immediately. This means the three-year period doesn’t begin until the injured patient learns or reasonably discovers that their care may have been negligent, leading to an injury.

It should be noted that the “discovery rule” is not indefinite. Massachusetts also states that a medical malpractice suit cannot be filed more than seven years following an injury, regardless of when it was discovered.

Malpractice lawsuits can be pretty complex. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Contact our office today to discuss your options.