Medical malpractice can take many forms, including: misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis; misread lab results; botched surgeries; performing unnecessary procedures; failure to order appropriate testing; failure to obtain informed consent; leaving surgical instruments inside patients; operating on the wrong body part; causing infection through unsanitary practices; anesthesia errors; birth injuries; and emergency room negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of what you believe to be an error by your physician or health care provider, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice action. As Denver personal injury lawyers, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery for medical malpractice.
Generally, actions for medical malpractice in Colorado must be brought within two years of the alleged malpractice. Importantly, however, Colorado applies a “discovery rule,” which provides that the two- year clock does not start until the harm is discovered (or should reasonably have been discovered). Examples of this include discovery of a foreign object, such as gauze, sponge, or a needle left in your body after a procedure. In this scenario, if you do not discovery the foreign object for a year after having surgery, the statute of limitations does not start to run until the discovery, rather than from the date of the surgery.
Other Exceptions to Colorado’s Two-Year Statute of Limitations
Although rare, there are a few other exceptions to the two-year limitation period. The statutory deadline may also be extended if the defendant left the state after committing the malpractice at issue or if the plaintiff was legally incapacitated at the time. There is also a special provision regarding young patients. Any claim brought on behalf of a minor who was under the age of six when the alleged malpractice occurred must be filed before the child’s eighth birthday.
Colorado also has a “statute of repose,” which provides that a medical malpractice claim must be filed no later than three years from the date of alleged negligence. However, the three-year limitation does not apply in certain situations, including where the alleged malpractice was knowingly concealed by the defendant or involved a foreign object, or if plaintiff could not have discovered the actual malpractice or resulting injury even through the exercise of “reasonable diligence.”
Let Our Knowledgeable Denver Personal Injury Lawyers Assist You With Your Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, we welcome you to contact our Denver personal injury lawyers, by email or phone at (303) 333-8000 to schedule a free consultation.