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Tolling Provisions for Children May Extend the Time Limits Provided by Statutes of Limitation for Filing Medical Malpractice and Surgical Malpractice Lawsuits

Tolling provisions for minor children may suspend the running of statutes of limitation time limits for filing lawsuits for medical malpractice and surgical malpractice until the minor child reaches the age of majority. This page explores the basics of the minor child tolling provision that is recognized in most states.

Minor Children

Tolling Provisions -- Extension of Time Limits Set by Statutes of Limitation

Medical Malpractice, Surgical Malpractice


Statutes of limitation are laws that set out the time limits within which all cases, claims, causes of action, and lawsuits for medical malpractice, surgical malpractice, and wrongful death must be filed in court. If a medical malpractice, surgical malpractice, or wrongful death lawsuit is not filed before the time limit set by the statute of limitation runs out, then the lawsuit is barred and the cause of action lost forever.

States may provide exceptions, called "tolling provisions," to the general rule that a cause of action for medical malpractice or surgical malpractice accrues when the act omission giving rise to the cause of action occurs and the injury is suffered. Tolling provisions may suspend the running of the limitations period and thereby extend the time limit within which a lawsuit for medical malpractice or surgical malpractice must be filed. Most states have a tolling provision that applies to minor children who have become victims of medical malpractice or surgical malpractice. The minor child provisions of most states' medical malpractice and surgical malpractice statutes of limitation suspends, or "tolls," the running of the limitations period while the victim of medical malpractice is a minor. In most states, the limitations period is tolled until the minor reaches the age of legal majority.

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