How many years is too late to sue a doctor?

I had a spinal fusion in 2002 and had to have another 1 in 2003 because the screws came out.  Now I have chronic pain in my lower back and legs.

Asked on March 31, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may well be too late. The statute of limitations, or time to sue, in Arizona for medical malpractice is two years. Typically, that is two years from the time of the injury, which would have run out sometime in 2005 from what you write.

That said, it is sometimes possible to "toll" the statute--or stop the clock running, gaining more time--IF it is the case that there was no way to know of the injury until some later date. For example, if you were pain free until 2010, and therefore would have had no way to know of a problem, it *may* be that you are still within the SOL (though if you had earlier warnings, or reasons to check on the situation, you woud not).

You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can advise you as to whether it is too late to sue, or if, based on the specific facts of your case, you may have more time.

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