The Continuing Treatment Doctrine in Massachusetts Explained

Posted by Benjamin R. Zimmermann

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Ben litigates personal injury cases, with an emphasis in the areas of defective products, medical malpractice, construction site accidents, and premises liability. Ben’s case wins have been upheld all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Meet Benjamin

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What if you’re injured while being treated by your doctor or another healthcare provider in Massachusetts? You usually have three years to file a medical malpractice claim from the date of the injury. 

Things become less clear if you continue to receive care from the doctor or healthcare provider who caused injury to you.   

In 2006, Massachusetts recognized the “continuing treatment doctrine.” This pauses the three-year time limit, while you continue to receive care. 

However, the continuing treatment doctrine only applies if you’re being treated by the doctor or healthcare provider for the same or related medical condition. 

Keep in mind, the three-year time limit starts up again if:

  • You (or your parent or guardian) learn that the doctor or provider’s negligence caused your injury; or  
  • You aren’t being treated by the doctor anymore. 

Other laws may limit the amount of time you can file a medical malpractice claim. It’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.  

SUGARMAN’s team of Boston personal injury attorneys has decades of experience navigating the complexities of medical malpractice litigation. If you or a loved one has been injured because of substandard medical care, explore your options by speaking to a SUGARMAN principal today. Call us at (617) 542-1000, or email us at info@sugarman.com.