California Birth Injury Statutes Of Limitation

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The statute of limitations for filing a California birth injury lawsuit differs depending on who is bringing the case and whether or not a public hospital is involved in the lawsuit. The deadlines to file can range from six months to eight years, so it’s important to understand which deadline applies to your situation so that you don’t lose your opportunity to file a claim.

6 months to 8 years

J. Niley Dorit, a California attorney whose practice represents birth injury victims, says that the statute of limitations for filing California birth injury claims varies greatly and depends upon several factors. He explained each limitation:

  • 8 years. The good news is that for the children who are severely injured, the deadline is not until they’re eight years old. So that’s plenty of time to figure out if there’s something wrong. Most commonly it’s known right away that there’s a serious injury because the child goes directly to a neonatal intensive care unit and the doctors are telling the mom that there are some serious problems with the baby.In cases where there are more moderate injuries, but still profound life-altering injuries, it is possible that the developmental milestones are not going to be seen within the first 12 or 18 months. However, usually by the age of two or three a child has developed to the point where you’re really going to know if there’s going to be a serious problem.
  • One year. There is a separate statute of limitations for the mother and that’s one-year. She does have a claim when her child is seriously injured, but her claim is severely limited by California law and generally is much lower than that of the child who may need lifetime medical care.
  • 6 months. If the negligent care occurs at a California county hospital or a hospital that’s part of a public healthcare district, that is, any kind of public entity, then the deadline can be as short as six months.

When there is an injured child, it’s really critical for the parents to contact a California lawyer who can investigate what’s going on immediately in the event that there would be a six-month deadline. If you’ve been injured due to a hospital or HMO’s negligence, contact an experienced California birth injury attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. You may be entitled to compensation.

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