315 E. Charles St.
Muncie, Indiana 47305
FAX: (765) 747-1991
What is Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations sets forth time limits within which a claim (lawsuit) must be filed. Under the Indiana Malpractice Act, an alleged wrongfully injured patient has two (2) years from the date of the alleged negligent medical act within which to file the claim. If the claim is not timely filed, it may be forever barred. A possible exception may occur if a patient does not know or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not discover that he or she had sustained an injury as a result of medical negligence within two years after the alleged negligent medical treatment was provided, then such a patient may have two years from the date that they discover the negligence and resulting injury or discover facts that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should lead to the discovery of the negligence and the resulting injury in which to file a lawsuit. This exception seems to be determined on a case-by case basis.
Under the Indiana Malpractice Act, children under the age of six have until their eighth birthday to file a claim. But on June 29, 2004, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that minors who believe they have been injured through medical malpractice should have the same opportunity to sue as minor victims of other torts. In other words, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the statue of limitations in medical malpractice as it pertains to minors is unconstitutional. As a result of this ruling evidently, minors of medical malpractice will have up to 2 years after reaching the age of majority (18 years old) to initiate a suit. This is likely still an unsettled issue because defense lawyers will probably seek a petition for transfer and it may be that the Indiana Supreme Court may end up ruling on this matter.