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There are some exceptions to the Statute of Limitations, but they are very rare.
1. Some States have the discovery rule. This is applied in the situations where the person does not realize immediately that they have been the subject of medical malpractice by their doctor. The discovery rule tolls the Statute of Limitations (stops it from running) until the person discovers the medical malpractice, or until the time that a reasonable person would have discovered the malpractice. For example, assume that a person lives in a State that has a 2 year Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice. Assume also that this person went into the hospital for surgery and the surgeon left an instrument inside his body. About 6 months after the surgery, the person starts feeling sever pain in the area of his surgery and the pain increases with each passing week, but the person does not go back to his surgeon to let him know that he is still in pain. The Statute of Limitations will not be tolled for him and will continue to run because a reasonable person would have gone back to his surgeon the be re-examined. The surgeon would probably have ordered x-rays and the instrument would have shown up on the x-ray and he would see that an instrument had been left inside his body
2. Almost all the States extend the Statute of Limitations to a certain degree if the malpractice involved a minor. Some States do not allow the Statute of Limitations to run while the minor is under 18 years of age, while other States extend it only by a couple of years.
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