Medical Negligence Time Limitations. 

Under Australian negligence law there are strict time limitations (known as ‘statute of limitations’) on when a claim for medical negligence can be made – with potential litigants becoming ‘statute barred’ if they do not lodge ‘initiating documents’ within this timeframe.

Time limitations are relatively uniform throughout Australia, however differ on when the statute of limitations begins, the use of ‘long-stop’ periods and considerations given to children and disabled people.

Time limitations for medical negligence claims in Australia:

  • Long-stop period: 12 years (ACT, NSW, TAS) and 30 years (SA)
  • Time limitations for adults: 3 years from the date of injury or diagnosis (ACT, NSW, QLD), 3 years from the date of the incident (SA), 3 years from the date negligence is discovered (VIC, TAS, WA) and 3 years from the date that the cause of the action first becomes known to the patient (NT)
  • Time limitations for children: 6 years from the date of injury or diagnosis (ACT), 3 years from the date of injury or diagnosis (NSW), Anytime before 21 years of age or 3 years from cessation of disability (QLD), 6 years from the date of the incident (SA), 6 years from the date negligence is discovered (VIC), 3 years from the date negligence is discovered (TAS), and 6 years from the date negligence is discovered, children under 15 (WA)
  • Time limitations for disabled people: limitation period suspended (ACT, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, TAS) unless they have a capable parent or guardian whereby 3 years applies (NSW, WA)

If you have exceeded a time limitation see “time extensions“. It’s also recommended that you speak with [advertiser] who will be able to provide you with a free preliminary assessment of your situation and advise if you should proceed with a claim for medical negligence.


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