Under state law, a patient may pursue a civil claim against physicians or other health care providers, called medical liability or medical malpractice, if the health care provider causes injury or death to the patient through a negligent act or omission. To recover damages, the patient must establish:
The physician owed a duty to the patient.
The standard of care and that the physician violated that standard.
A compensable injury.
The violation of the standard of care caused the harm suffered by the patient.
All states have set deadlines for when a patient may file a civil claim, known as statutes of limitation, for medical liability and malpractice claims. This chart summarizes state statutes of limitations in relation to adults, minors and foreign objects. The majority of the states have special provisions regarding the time limits for minors to file medical liability and malpractice claims. Twenty-two states have special provisions regarding foreign objects.
Please type in a state in the box below or select a state in the drop-down to be taken directly to the state's statutory information.
Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.