California's Statutes of Limitations for Birth Injury Cases

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Did you know that you only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim of any kind in California? It’s true. There are laws known as statutes of limitations that will essentially erase any claim filed for compensation after the set time limit, no matter how valid that claim may be.

Such statutes of limitations even apply to sensitive birth injury cases, in which parents normally want to take as much time as they can researching their case and monitoring their child before filing a claim. However, sometimes waiting a while is waiting too long, and matters are complicated when considering that there are variances in California’s laws regarding when a parent can file a birth injury claim.

There are three statutes of limitations to consider for birth injury claims in California:

  • 8 years: For the majority of birth injury claims for injuries suffered by the newborn, there is an 8-year statute of limitations. This is true in California and many other states as well. A parent has the first 8 years of their child’s life to determine just how serious the injury is, how much it will cost to treat, and so forth. Filings made towards the end of the statute of limitations are likely to be more accurate in compensation needed, but remember not to risk missing the filing deadline.
  • 12 months: If the mother was harmed due to medical malpractice while giving birth, the statute of limitations will fall under California’s medical malpractice statute of limitations, which is only 12 months. In cases when the mother and the child are hurt, one case can be filed for the mother within the next year, but another case for the child should be capable of filing for the next 8 years, as discussed above.
  • 6 months: Many hospitals and clinics are part of private medical groups but some are technically public entities. Any sort of birth injury – to the mother or the child – that occurs at a public entity hospital will be limited by just a six month statute of limitations. Be sure you know what sort of hospital or medical group is handling the birth of your child so you know how much time you have to file a claim, just in case one becomes necessary later.

Additional Considerations for a Mother’s Injuries

California’s statute of limitations on a typical personal injury claim is one year after the injury occurs. Or, it can be three years after the date of injury if the harm caused was not readily noticeable by a reasonable person. With this in mind, a mother who suffers a birth injury could have up to three years to file a claim if the injury was subtle enough to be missed initially.

Answers from Experienced Birth Injury Lawyers

At Scarlett Law Group, we have made it our mission to deliver nothing but the best legal advocacy to our clients, starting with making it simple for them to understand their rights and options after being hurt by a negligent third party. If you or your child have suffered a birth injury but you do not know how to interpret California’s various statutes of limitations, or if you know you need representation to enhance your claim’s chances of success, please feel free to contact our firm’s San Francisco personal injury attorneys. We have been helping clients in need for more than 25 years and would be happy to see how we can help you, too.

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