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CalAttorney2
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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If a person had an illness years but didn't know until

Customer Question

If a person had an illness for five years but didn't know until last week that it was caused by a medical error, when does the statute of limitations apply? Washington state statue
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. I would like to assist you today. Responses may have a short delay for review and research.
It is possible that you can still file the medical malpractice action under a "delayed discovery" rule. (see: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-the-statute-limitations-filing-medical-malpractice-lawsuit-washington.html), which gives you up to 1 year after the date of discovery to file. Unfortunately, the triggering date is the date of the illness or injury as opposed to discovering the cause, so this may be too late to file, I would encourage you to speak with a local malpractice lawyer right away to discuss this matter as statute of limitations matters are often much more complicated than a simple arithmetic problem.
Medical malpractice claims are based on expert testimony, this means you, or your attorney, will need to find a medical expert in the same, or similar field, to testify as to the standard of care in the industry, whether your physician or facility's conduct fell below that standard, and whether that negligence was the cause of your injury. The same (or a different) expert can then testify as to your projected future damages and cost of medical care.
Due to the complexity of these claims, I highly recommend that you retain a medical malpractice plaintiff's lawyer (also called trial attorneys). Fortunately the majority of these attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, and many will represent you on a contingency basis (they will advance the costs of litigation and legal services in exchange for a portion of your successful settlement or judgment).
You can find local attorneys using the State and Local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).

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