How Long Do I Have To File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Mississippi?

Published on Apr 9, 2024 at 3:08 pm in Medical Malpractice.

You received a delayed diagnosis, underwent a medical procedure that didn’t go as planned, or otherwise fallen victim to some kind of health care provider negligence.

You realize that these oversights may allow you to take legal action to hold any responsible parties liable for what happened, but you may be unclear as to how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim in Mississippi. Keep reading, and we’ll let you know.

Our Mississippi Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Mississippi Code § 15-1-36 is the law that specifically outlines the statute of limitations in cases where doctors and other health care providers are negligent. That state statute outlines how victims have two years to file a lawsuit from the date the malpractice occurred.

There are exceptions to this general rule, though.

Exceptions to the Filing Deadline

For one reason or another, medical malpractice may not be immediately apparent on the exact day it occurs. In those cases, the 2-year statute of limitations does not begin counting down until it is discovered, or its discovery should have reasonably occurred.

Other sections of this statute outline how:

  • Malpractice claims filed on behalf of minors aged six or under generally must be filed within two years of that child’s sixth birthday or when they “shall” have died, and specifically depend on which of these should have occurred first.
  • Those who have a “soundness of mind” disability may retain eligibility to file a medical malpractice claim from up to two years after they’re no longer deemed to have such an impairment (provided that it occurs within 21 years of the onset of such a condition).

Despite, some exceptions to the 2-year filing window, it’s important to note that, even in cases where the alleged omission or neglect isn’t soon discovered after its occurrence, victims aren’t afforded forever to file lawsuits like these. There is a “statute of repose,” which is seven years out from the date the malpractice allegedly occurred. This is generally the absolute farthest out date a victim can file suit; however, there’s even an exception to it that applies in two rare instances, including:

  • If a surgeon or member of the surgical team leaves a foreign object inside a patient during an operation
  • A healthcare provider engaged in fraud or otherwise intentionally misrepresented facts that led to a medical error or some other malpractice being concealed

Generally, a judge would have the discretion as to whether to extend the filing timeline beyond the 7-year statute of repose in rare cases like the two mentioned above.

Understanding Noticing Requirements and Their Impact on Malpractice Case Filing

Filing a lawsuit against a medical provider who harmed you generally isn’t necessarily a straightforward process. Per the same state statute described above, you must:

  • Provide 60 days’ notice to your healthcare professional of your intent to sue them: This written notice should explain why you’re suing them, the injuries you suffered, and how much in damages you’re claiming. If you file this legal action too close to the end of the statute of limitations applicable in your case, then it is possible to have that filing deadline extended by an additional 60 days.
  • Secure a Certificate of Expert Consultation and file it along with your malpractice lawsuit: Mississippi Code § 11-1-58 outlines this requirement, which is mandatory in virtually all malpractice cases, except when there was a lack of informed consent or the practitioner’s error speaks for itself. This requirement can be met by having an attorney or an affiliated expert attest to the applicability of the standard of care or negligence concepts and there being a reasonable basis for the filing of a lawsuit.

As you might imagine, since medical malpractice cases tend to be particularly complex, even the most seasoned attorneys, like ours at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, may need time to assess a case and prepare such documentation.

This is often why we urge those who’ve been harmed by healthcare provider negligence to reach out to our office as soon as possible. By doing so, you can ensure filing deadlines don’t pass you by.

Contact our law firm if you need assistance with your case. Consultations are free.


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