Can I sue a doctor or hospital 25 years after an injury?

UPDATED: Oct 24, 2013

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Can I sue a doctor or hospital 25 years after an injury?

I was 4 years old when I broke my femur. I was in traction for 3 weeks they ended up making my left leg longer then my right. I was told that my right would catch up which it never did so now at the age of 29 I’m looking at a hip replacement due to the break down in the joint (due to the different leg lenths putting pressure in the socket). I only just found out about the problem with my hip is there any legal action that I can take?

Asked on October 24, 2013 under Malpractice Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is too late to file a lawsuit in CA because you have missed the statute of limitations. 

In CA, the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case is three years from the date of injury or one year from the date of discovery of the injury, whichever occurs first.

If you were living in another state when the medical malpractice occurred, other states may have different statutes of limitation; however, it is unlikely that you could file a lawsuit 25 years after the injury.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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