Birth Injury Statute of Limitations

Quick Answer

The birth injury statute of limitations is a set time frame determined by each state that sets a limit on how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim. Consulting with an experienced birth injury attorney can help you file your lawsuit in a timely manner.

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What Are Statutes of Limitations?

A statute of limitations (SOL) refers to a period of time in which you can legally file a claim. From a legal perspective, there are two types of SOLs: civil and criminal. In the case of birth injury lawsuits, your claim would be considered a civil personal injury lawsuit.

The statute of limitations on birth injury can be challenging to navigate since some birth injuries are apparent immediately after birth, while others can take months or years to show. Generally, exceptions are placed to ensure that the parents of children who develop latent birth injury symptoms can file a lawsuit at a later date after the injury is diagnosed.

The birth injury statute of limitations time frame and related rules can vary and are determined by each state. It is crucial to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney to ensure that you are filing within your state’s allotted time frame.

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How Long Do You Have to Sue for a Birth Injury?

It is important to file your claim before your state’s statute of limitations expires. As soon as you discover your child has a birth injury caused by medical negligence, seek the advice of an experienced birth injury attorney.

In most states, the clock for birth injury statute of limitations begins when the injury is first discovered. For example, if your child’s birth injury was discovered the day they were born, you have a set specific time frame from the moment of birth to file your lawsuit.

In some cases, your child may not be diagnosed with a birth injury until later on in their life. If an injury caused by medical negligence is discovered months or years later into your child’s life, the birth injury statute of limitations time window will begin at the time of discovery — not at the time of birth. This allows parents more time to establish their case and work with a lawyer.

Not all states follow the discovery rule, however, so it is critical to speak with an attorney for more information about the birth injury statute of limitations in your state.

If you present a claim that is too close to the birth injury statute of limitations’ expiration date, it may reduce the likelihood that a lawyer will take on your case and represent you in court.

It is essential to file a claim with an experienced birth injury law firm as soon as possible to get your entitled compensation.

Birth Injury Statute of Limitations by State

Each state has its own statute of limitations on birth injury. Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area can help ensure that your complaint is filed correctly and within the time frame for your state.

Some states may have a shorter statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases due to the volume of claims the states receive per year.

Check the Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury for Your State

*Statutes of limitations are subject to change. Only an experienced birth injury lawyer can determine how long you may have to file your claim. Contact us today to learn more.

StateStatute of Limitations for Birth InjuriesStatute of Limitations for Infant Wrongful Death
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years2 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas2 years2 years
California1 year2 years
Colorado2 years2 years
Connecticut2 years2 years
Delaware2 years2 years
District of Columbia3 years2 years
Florida2 years2 years
Georgia2 years2 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years2 years
Illinois2 years2 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years2 years
Kansas2 years2 years
Kentucky1 year1 year
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine3 years2 years
Maryland3 years/5 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan2 years3 years
Minnesota4 years3 years
Missouri2 years3 years
Montana3 years3 years
Nebraska2 years2 years
Nevada3 years2 years
New Hampshire2 years3 years
New Jersey2 years2 years
New Mexico3 years3 years
New York2.5 years2 years
North Carolina3 years2 years
North Dakota2 years2 years
Ohio1 year2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years3 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years3 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota2 years2 years
Tennessee1 year/3 years1 year
Texas2 years2 years
Utah2 years2 years
Vermont3 years2 years
Virginia2 years2 years
Washington3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming2 years2 years

Seek Legal Compensation for Your Child’s Birth Injury

If you believe your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. Due to the time limit set by your state’s birth injury statute of limitations, it is essential to find a law firm to file your claim as soon as possible.

Get a free case review today to learn more about taking legal action within your state’s birth injury statute of limitations.

Birth Injury Statute of Limitations FAQ

Why is there a statute of limitations?

Birth injury statute of limitations are placed to ensure your medical malpractice lawsuit is handled promptly and effectively. This can help the plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses recall exact details of the birth injury so all facts relating to the case are accurate.

The statute of limitations also regulates the volume of birth injury cases a state can receive during a given time.

Are there exceptions to statute of limitations?

There are several exceptions to a statute of limitations on birth injury.

Since birth injuries may take months or years to diagnose, the most common exception is the discovery rule. This law extends the deadline to file a claim if a family did not know that their child suffered a birth injury until after the deadline for the statute of limitations passes.

Additionally, if the defendant (usually medical professionals that delivered your child) left your state for any period of time, the deadline for the statute of limitations to end generally will be extended for however long they left the state.

There may be other various lawsuit filing protocols for unique situations if the plaintiff is a minor, disabled, or mentally ill. It is best to consult an experienced attorney to learn more about the birth injury statute of limitations that pertains to your case.

How do I know when to file my birth injury claim?

Working with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible is the best way to understand when to file your birth injury claim.

Medical malpractice lawyers have extensive knowledge on the statute of limitations on birth injury in each state. The first step in your birth injury lawsuit is to get a consultation at no cost to you. Contact us to get a free case review to learn more.

Birth Injury Support Team

The Birth Injury Justice Center was founded in 2003 by a team of legal professionals to educate and empower victims and families affected by birth injuries. Our team is devoted to providing you with the best resources and legal information for all types of birth injuries.

View 4 Sources
  1. Bostwick, H. (2014, July 03). What are statutes of limitations? Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-are-statutes-of-limitations
  2. David Goguen, J. (2021, January 18). Time limits for a personal injury lawsuit: What is the statute of limitations. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/time-limits-personal-injury-lawsuit-watch-the-statute-limitations.html
  3. David Goguen, J. (2021, January 27). Medical malpractice state laws: Statutes of limitations. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/medical-malpractice/state-laws-statutes-limitations.html
  4. Guide to birth injury statutes of limitations by state. (2021, February 13). Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.enjuris.com/blog/resources/birth-injury-lawsuit-deadline/
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