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Understanding the Discovery Rule for Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Claims

Published in Medical Malpractice on April 20, 2024

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In Massachusetts, the “discovery rule” plays a pivotal role in medical malpractice claims, allowing patients to file lawsuits based on when they discovered, or should have reasonably discovered, the harm caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence. This rule allows a window for medical malpractice victims to file a claim for compensation, even if they discovered their injuries after the fact. Understanding the nuances of the discovery rule and statute of limitations can be complex, making it critical to partner with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are committed to helping medical malpractice victims recover compensation for the harm they have endured. Our skilled attorneys have over 45 years of experience achieving favorable outcomes on behalf of our clients. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for medical malpractice victims and are ready to apply our experience and skills to your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (617) 391-9001 or completing our contact form.

What Is the Discovery Rule in Medical Malpractice Claims?

All states, including Massachusetts, must abide by a legal time limit known as the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. Typically, the statute of limitations for these cases is three years from the date of the incident. However, there are exceptions for when a patient discovers the malpractice at a later date. For example, if a patient who is misdiagnosed and mistreated realizes the correct condition only a year later, they can file a lawsuit within three years from this discovery date rather than the original incident date.

Additionally, the law extends a patient’s ability to file a claim up to seven years after the malpractice event, except in cases involving surgical tools left inside a patient’s body, where there is no time limit. Claims must still be made within three years of discovering such errors, even if this discovery falls beyond the seven-year cap, allowing these cases to proceed regardless of the timeframe.

How an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You

Understanding the rules and exceptions of Massachusetts’ discovery rule can be complex on your own, especially as you contend with your injuries. The trusted attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can handle every detail of your case as you focus on your health. A few ways we can assist you include the following:

  • Conducting a meticulous investigation into your case
  • Examining evidence
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Negotiating with all parties on your behalf
  • Filing all paperwork correctly and on time
  • Determining the value of the damages you are owed
  • Advocating for your rights and interests throughout the legal process
  • Answering your legal questions
  • Being your pillar of support during this trying time

One of the most significant ways our attorneys can help is by pursuing compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial burdens you have suffered. We are dedicated to considering the full scope of your needs as we fight for you.

Speak With a First-Class Medical Malpractice Attorney at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have discovered you have been harmed by medical malpractice after the fact, you may still have grounds to pursue justice. The talented attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to holding negligent healthcare professionals fully accountable for the harm they have caused. Our medical malpractice team includes attorneys J. Tucker Merrigan and Kyle A. Camilleri, who dedicate 100% of their practices to litigation and have been recognized repeatedly for their excellence. When you trust us with your case, you can have peace of mind that we will personalize our approach to your unique needs.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling (617) 391-9001 or completing our contact form.

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