How Long Do You Have To Sue for Misdiagnosis?

By David M. Schloss

A misdiagnosis has the potential to be one of the most harmful examples of medical malpractice as it can result in the patient receiving the wrong treatment and medication, leaving the original condition untreated, or causing new issues entirely. The negative impact of a misdiagnosis might not even be apparent until much later, which begs the question — just how long do you have to sue for misdiagnosis?

Our team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP proudly represents injured patients across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are always ready to answer your questions about the statute of limitations for filing a claim in your area.

Maryland Misdiagnosis Statute of Limitations

How long do you have to sue for misdiagnosis?

Maryland legal statute §5–109 outlines the timeframe for pursuing legal action after an injury arising out of the rendering of or failure to render professional services by a healthcare provider. Injured patients have five years from the date of an injury or three years from the discovery of an injury to sue for misdiagnosis.

This means that how long you have to sue for misdiagnosis in Maryland can vary depending on whether or not the injury resulting from the misdiagnosis was noticeable right away. Even if more than five years elapse from the date of the misdiagnosis, you may still be able to pursue compensation if you or another medical professional had no way of discovering the injury until much later.

Virginia Misdiagnosis Statute of Limitations

Code of Virginia § 8.01-243 states that any legal action for personal injury, with certain specific exceptions, has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the action that caused the injury. While certain instances of medical malpractice warrant an extension of the time limit under Virginia law, this does not typically extend how long you have to sue for misdiagnosis.

Virgnia’s stricter statute of limitations compared to Maryland’s makes it all the more important to keep thorough documentation. Maintain organized records of your treatments and statements from medical professionals so you can accurately assert that your claim falls within the statute of limitations.

Washington, D.C., Misdiagnosis Statute of Limitations

Each state's statute of limitations determines how long you have to sue for a misdiagnosis.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Washington, D.C., is three years from the date an injury occurred. Be aware, however, that Code § 16–2802 specifies that the claimant in a medical malpractice suit must provide a notice of intention to file suit to the defendant at least 90 days before filing the action. If the statute of limitations falls within 90 after providing notice, you will have longer to sue for misdiagnosis.

Working closely with a medical malpractice lawyer can remove much of the burden from your shoulders, not only in negotiating for compensation but also when filing your claim or providing a notice of intention.

Contact an Attorney Who Understands Misdiagnosis Claims

It is not possible to claim any compensation for a medical malpractice injury after the statute of limitations passes, even if you have decisive evidence on your side. At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, a lawyer from our firm can help you understand how long you have to sue for misdiagnosis and make sure your case follows an appropriate timeline. Contact us today for a free consultation — we charge no fee until you secure a settlement for your misdiagnosis injury.

About the Author
David M. Schloss is an injury attorney and partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. He joined the law firm in 1987 and has earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys in the District of Columbia.