Can I sue hospital/doctor after 2yrs of initial malpractice if issue was discovered later?

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Can I sue hospital/doctor after 2yrs of initial malpractice if issue was discovered later?

I had a cesarean in ’14’ I remained
hospitalized for additional week
because I had an infection under the
cesarean line. Over the years I have
developed a very large keloid that is
getting surgically removed next month
because it’s continues to grow. Can I
still sue the hospital since they
apparently used unclean utensils to do
the cesarean?

Asked on February 16, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations (or time within which you must start a lawsuit) in your state for medical malpractice is 2 years from when you did or *should* have discovered the injury (and never more than 4 years from the date of the procedure: there is a hard-limit of 4 years). If you knew you had an infection right after the procedure, it may well be that a court would consider that you should have known of the possibility of malpractice then; therefore, once two years have passed from when you discovered the infection, it would likely be too late to sue.
In addition, it's not enough to say that they "apparently" used unclean utensils: to win a case, you need proof or evidence (1) of the malpractice, or careless medical procedures; and (2) that the malpractice caused the condition. Without such evidence, there would be no point in suing, since hypotheses or suppositions, even if logical, will not win a lawsuit; only evidence or proof does.


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