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How long after a surgery do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Longview, WA |

I was injured on the job in 2003, after surgery in 2005 my conditon has not improved and remains limited in improving due to something that happened during surgery. I did not know how ever until 2006 that my in abilty to recover fullly was due to that surgery. What are my chances this far down the road in receving compensation for this?

how long do you haveto file a lawsuit?from the hosptial

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Usually the statutory limitation period begins to run from the time that you knew or should have known that an act of malpractice occurred. However, most states have an ultimate limitation period called a statute of repose. Under the statute of repose you are barred even if you did not know. For example, in Florida the limitation period is two years from the time that you knew or should have known, BUT in no case longer than four years from the date of the alleged act of malpractice. Check with a WA state lawyer to find out what your exact statutory periods are. One other thing to be aware of is that if your worker's compensation carrier paid for medical bills related to or arising from the malpractice, they will have a lien against your recovery. Sometimes this makes it very difficult to pursue a malpractice claim given the expense of proving the case with medical experts.

    Good luck.

    Betsey Herd
    Morgenstern & Herd
    Tampa, Florida

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