Statute of Limitations



If you feel as though you are a victim of medical malpractice in Providence, Boston, Fall River, Worcester, Hartford, or New Haven area, we have a local attorney ready to step up to bat for you. Attorney Rob Levine has made it his priority is to make sure the local community has access to the legal help they need when someone’s negligence causes serious accidents.




Medical Malpractice, like any case, has a statute of limitations-the amount of time when a patient can begin a case against a doctor or hospital.

In each state, the time frame may look slightly different as they can either focus on how long a patient can wait before they begin a case or the total length of time of the lawsuit. When the medical malpractice occurred, the time begins for a case to be filed. The exception to this rule is when a patient later discovers the damage.


In Rhode Island, patients are given up to three years to hire a RI medical malpractice lawyer and begin their case. Patients who later discover that they were a victim of malpractice are given three years from when the malpractice should have been discovered to file their complaint. If the patient is a minor, the case must be filed before his/her 21st birthday. Rhode Island offers extensions for the standard statute of limitations if the physician knowingly conceals their error, leaves the state, or if the victim is found ‘mentally incompetent.’


Massachusetts allows patients up to three years to hire a MA medical malpractice lawyer and begin their case. In the situations when the patient would not have reasonably known of the malpractice, the state gives the patient three years from the discovery date. Medical malpractice cases concerning minors must be filed up to three years from when the patient’s parents or guardians knew that the treatment caused the injuries. Children under six years old are given the deadline of their ninth birthday for the parents/guardians to pursue a medical malpractice case. Massachusetts also issues a statue where a medical malpractice lawsuit must not continue past seven years from the date of the alleged malpractice if the case does not concern a foreign object being left in the patient’s body. Other exceptions to the statute of limitations are if the physician knowingly concealed their error and/or left the state after the malpractice or if the patient was found legally incompetent.


In Connecticut, patients looking to pursue a medical malpractice case are given up to two years to file their case and hire a CT medical malpractice lawyer. For patients who later discovered their injuries, the state gives them two years from the date they reasonably should have noticed the malpractice. Minors do not have any exception to the statute, which is different than most states. The statute can be extended if the physician covered up their malpractice and/or left the state after committing the malpractice. The state also requires that a medical malpractice case can not continue past three years.

As every state has slightly different regulations concerning medical malpractice cases, there may also be caps on the damages victims can receive. Rhode Island and Connecticut both have no cap on damages. However, in Massachusetts, there is a cap of $500,000 for cases involving general damages like pain and suffering or embarrassment. The only exception to this rule is if the injuries have resulted in permanent disfiguration or serious damage to bodily functions.

If your claim fits within the statute of limitations for your state and qualifies as a medical malpractice case, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Rob Levine & Associates to receive a free case evaluation.

FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  
How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.

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