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How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take in Maryland?

When a medical professional injures you in some way, you will likely want justice for how they have wronged you and need financial compensation to cover treating your injuries – correctly this time. Although many Maryland plaintiffs know they want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, they may be intimidated by not knowing how long those legal proceedings will take.

The reality is that there is no way to state definitively that a medical malpractice lawsuit will take any length of time. A bevy of factors and circumstances can make the ordeal take much more time than it otherwise would have or, conversely, shorten proceedings so that they resolve themselves quickly. Each medical malpractice case is different, so the best way to determine how long your case is likely to take is to talk to an attorney.

For a free, confidential case analysis, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at (410) 694-7291.

The Length of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Maryland

The length of medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland can vary wildly depending on a multitude of factors. Thus, there is, unfortunately, no set answer for how long a medical malpractice lawsuit will take. However, it is good practice to go into legal proceedings with the understanding that it may take quite a while. Lawsuits consist of far more than just a trial by jury. There can be years of prep work that lawyers for both sides do before it ever gets to that point. That being said, you should not be intimidated by the potential length of a medical malpractice lawsuit if you need compensation. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers will be with you every step of the way.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Laws

In law, there is something called the statute of limitations that makes it so plaintiffs only have a set amount of time to file a lawsuit. If a plaintiff does not file a lawsuit within that timeframe, their case will be thrown out by the court. In general for injury cases, this time period is three years under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101. However, medical malpractice claims are governed by

Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-109

Under that law,you have until the sooner of five years from the date of your injuries or three years from the date when you discover your injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland. For example, if you discover that a surgery was botched four years later, you will still have one year to file a lawsuit. However, if you discover that the surgery was what injured you after only a week, you will have three years from that point to file a lawsuit rather than the full five years from the surgery.

In many cases, a plaintiff will not know that a medical professional wronged them in some way for quite a while, usually until they get a second opinion on their pain. This provision exists to give plaintiffs a chance to take negligent medical practitioners to court, separate from the regular personal injury statute of limitations.

Factors that Can Influence the Length of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Maryland

There are many things that can make a medical malpractice legal matter take more time or less time. Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers have nailed down some of the important ones so that you have an idea of what to expect while going through the medical malpractice legal process.

Injury Discovery

One of the most likely reasons that a medical malpractice lawsuit will take longer is because the plaintiff does not know that they are injured yet. If a plaintiff does not know they are injured, they will not be looking to file a lawsuit. In these instances, they may be dealing with an injury for longer than they think they are.


The age of the victim can have an effect on how long medical malpractice proceedings take. Maryland law extends the statutory period you have to file a medical malpractice claim for younger victims. Per Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-109(b), the statutory timer for medical malpractice injuries to victims who are under 11 years old does not begin until the victim turns 11. Similarly, some injuries do not kick off the statutory timer until the victim turns 16. These circumstances are unique and can create legal complications, so it is best to speak with our lawyers if you think this may apply to you.

Number of Defendants

Another reason that a medical malpractice lawsuit could take longer is because multiple defendants are being sued. It is entirely possible that multiple parties were medically negligent when treating you. For example, you may be filing a lawsuit against a doctor, the hospital they practice at, and some of the nurses and other medical aides on their staff. In those cases, it may take more time for attorneys on both sides of the case to filter through a great deal of information for each party involved.

That being said, you should not let this discourage you from filing a lawsuit against multiple defendants. Just because a case may take longer does not mean that it will. Additionally, leaving a potentially liable defendant out of the lawsuit may make it so that the other defendants can claim you are targeting them, which may be detrimental to your case. As always, talk with our lawyers about your particular situation to determine how to proceed.

Call Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Laurel, MD medical malpractice lawyers can help you with your case when you call us at (410) 694-7291.