Skip to main content

Can I still file a lawsuit in California against a county hospital even though I'm 23 days late in filing a claim?

San Jose, CA |

I thought I had a year to file a claim but just found out that I only have 6 months. I had a c-section in November during which the surgeon stitched my ureter to the uterine incision repair. The mistake resulted in a 3 hour emergency surgery, a kidney stent being placed, and now, 6 months after the stent removal, I'm still having kidney and bladder pain. A surgeon friend recommended that we file a lawsuit and I've been receiving questionnaires from my insurance company's insurance company's subrogation department.

Attorney Answers 10


  1. Consult a local med mal attorney using AVVO immediately. Statute of Limitations and deadlines are not always black and white.


  2. There may be a chance for you, but you must talk to an attorney TOMORROW! Look for one who works in the field of medical malpractice work.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


  3. Yes, you can file a Government Tort claim with a request to file a relief for filing a late claim. Generally it will be denied by the County Board of Supervisors. At that time you can file petition with the court attach ing your request for relief you filed as an Exhibit along with a copy of the claim and rejection notice. It is discretionary for the court to grant it,but more likely than not if the reasons for filing a late claim are set forth the court will grant your request. Also remember that in most medical malpractice cases the statute begins based on your discovery of the negligent act.

    All these are technical and you are better off with a lawyer to handle this.


  4. You need a med mal lawyer immediately. A request to make a late claim should be served on the county asap. County will deny it, and then a petition has to be filed with the court for an order allowing a late claim. The max allowable time is 6 mos late, but the closer you are to the 6 mo from date of malpractice, the better. if the docs and or hospital are private, you have more than 6 mos from date of accrual to sue. get on this asap, as the time may have start running before the stent removal.


  5. So very sorry to hear of your misfortune From the little information provided, it appears there may be a claim against MD and/or hospital but you would need to obtain copies of all your medical records to have them reviewed by a medical expert who is knowledgeable about the medical standard of care in your community for this kind of surgery.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  6. You have to file a Tort Claim with the State of California, if it was a a State run hospital, within six months of the date of discovery of your injury. You may apply for a late claim, which may be accepted. Call your local County Bar Association and find a compitent medical malpractice attorney in your area immediately, if you wish to pursue your matter.


  7. Many lawyers like the abbreviation "SOL" for the statute of limitations as it contains that implication that once the statute runs a plaintiff will be "ess oh ell." The best case can get thrown right out if filed one day late... though there are exceptions to such a harsh outcome... and these exceptions should be explored by a medical malpractice attorney... there are many who offer free consultations so one who feels the "statute is blown" as they say, should still make calls to attorneys... though one should do so with great haste.

    That said, stitched ureter cases during pelvic surgery are difficult to win... they are quite appealing to the uninitiated medical malpractice attorney as it just seems so straight forward... go in for a hysterectomy or C-section and there should be no way in heck to nail a ureter... while that sounds true... insides of pelvises are filled with lots of structures, tissues, fascia, and all sorts of fleshy colored organs, tubes, vessels. and nerves. There are just as many experts who will opine that tying off a ureter is an acceptable risk as there are who will opine that such an act is below the standard of care.

    Ignoring all of my above post, anyone who even thinks he or she has a medical malpractice case, and whether one thinks it's too late or not, should immediately consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Most of us offer free consultations, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
    Corona, CA 92833
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.


  8. You must seek the help of a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice matters. We refer such cases to a medical malpractice law firm where the injured's initial consultation is with a Medical Doctor which will get you a quicker response as to knowing if you have a case or not. With regard to filing late, you may file a claim even though you are 23 days late. It will be up to the court to accept it. The attorney you hire will explain to you all the details.


  9. Statutes of limitations are usually strictly enforced. If California has a six-month statute of limitations for filing medical-malpractice claims, then you are probably out of luck if you are 23 days (or even one day) past that deadline.

    You should find a California med-mal lawyer who offers free initial consultations (which most med-mal lawyers do) and ask him or her about this statute of limitations issue, and also whether you might have any different kinds of claims under California law that have longer statutes of limitations.

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics