When can personal injury statute of limitations be extended?

by Barry
(Savannah, Georgia)

I had my 2nd back surgery in 2003. In my records it says I was taken to the recovery room in stable condition with no complaints, and that I was in the recovery room for an hour and a half, which is all untrue.

I was in the recovery room for 5 hours and when my family saw me they could not recognize me, my face and head was swollen as big as a basketball, I could barely hear, my ears were ringing like crazy and I kept repeating myself. I followed up with the back surgeon after surgery and told him I was having problems with my legs jumping/spasming. They told me it was restless legs and not to worry about it, and stuck me in pain management.

I told them it wasn't restless legs, and while in pain management the spasms moved into my hips, like doing unwanted pelvic thrusts, then it moved into my arms. It was like someone throwing my arms up as hard as they could and then all of a sudden it would stop. I had to learn to let my arms come down slow so I wouldn't bang my hand and arms on things. Then it moved into my neck, my head would jerk back and forth intensely like I was shaking my head.

All of the doctors were baffled and I had one even mimick my arms jumping (making fun). One doctor's assistant told me to squawk like a bird to warn people the arms were about to jump, when I just got finished telling him I had no warning and that I knocked my wife down carrying groceries one night and she was hurt.

Well I finally found another pain doctor 2 yrs ago and he listened and believed me, he said it looked like some form of tourette's syndrome. I told him my stepson has tourette's. He asked what kind of medicine he takes for it and I told him clonidine, so he said lets try taking clonidine twice a day, and I did and low and behold everything came to a halt. It didn't stop my arms from jumping completely but enough to where I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else.

My arms would jump while I was eating, driving, walking and sleeping. When it first moved into my arms it was so intense it was like getting whiplash, because my head would jump back and I'd end up with a headache, neck ache and my left shoulder would hurt. Then eventually it moved down to my left arm and ring and pinky finger. Nobody would believe me until now.

I also described to the doctors what may have been a heart attack. This past November 8th I had a stroke where I lost part of my vision. I had my brain CT scanned and it showed an old heart attack and an old stroke. I had my heart cathed and they found a blockage but couldn't put a stent in because it's been so long that blood vessels grew all around the blockage and its in a bad spot. So now their treating it with medicine.

This all started as a workmans comp back injury and in Georgia you can collect workman's comp for 400 weeks. My claim still is not settled. My original pain doctor now said I have an abnormal movement disorder, that workmans comp refuses to believe it.

I was wondering if this first came from a workmans comp surgery, is it part of the original workmans comp claim? Also can I file a separate personal injury lawsuit against the back surgeon and the hospital, even though the Statute of Limitations time frame has ran out?

These doctors were not telling the truth about what happened in the first place. The back surgeon told my wife after surgery that I was fine and the surgery went well, my primary doctor told me they were covering up for each other. He told me to go to a hospital out of state, the further the better.

I would think there would be certain circumstances where the Statute of Limitations could be extended. I just can't believe how the doctors behaved.

I trusted them, then I see my records and see them saying I was in stable condition with no complaints and it just infuriated me... my old pain doctor mimicking me, throwing his arms up in the air like mine would fling up yelling, "Barry's got a brain! Barry's got a brain!" after me telling him I had my brain MRI'd and it looked okay at the time; and my back surgeon's assistant telling me to squawk like a bird, making a loud bird squawking sound and laughing.

So basically they withheld important information, which I would think would be fraud. They deceived me until enough time went by to where I could not sue them

Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? Could my congressman or governor extend the statute of limitations possibly? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "When can personal injury statute of limitations be extended?":

Barry (Savannah, Georgia):

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal you can do about pursuing a claim against the third party doctors or hospitals. The statute of limitations ran out years ago. Although you can petition your Congressman, he really won’t have much say in the extension of Georgia’s Statute of Limitations laws. The Statute of Limitations you are referring to is a state matter. Therefore any changes would have to come through your state legislators.

Although you have every right to petition your state representative to extend the Statute of Limitations in your case, there is very little chance your petition will succeed.

The only viable extension of the Statute of Limitations in civil matters is the one for minors. If a minor is injured and his parents or legal guardian fail to pursue the party which injured him in a timely manner, the minor may be able to file her own suit once she turns 18.

Other than that exception, in the State of Georgia we were unable to find any others. The best action will be to negotiate the highest settlement award possible in your workmans compensation claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for When can personal injury statute of limitations be extended?

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Choose a good law firm...
by: Barry

Hi,

I believe now that my first law firm caused my post traumatic stress disorder, heart attack and stroke. I believe my lawyer should've been all over the hospital when my head and face was swollen as big as a basketball, also he should've had me see different doctors instead of making me be put through all the ridicule and laughter, staff making fun of me etc.

I even asked my lawyer to get me to another dr or to call him, and he said, "well, I don't like calling doctors and creating problems because I might have other clients that will see them." As soon as he told me that I thought he's just an ambulance chaser, just wanting the easy cases.

I contacted other lawyers and they said they didn't want to take on cases since I'd already signed a contract with another law firm. I told my lawyer a month before my 400 weeks ran out, then 2 weeks before, and he kept saying, "we've got plenty of time to file for catastrophic injury."

Sure enough my 400 weeks ran out, my checks were cut off, then I had to pay for medicine and food, and gas on my credit cards when I had no way of paying it back. I would borrow cash advances on my credit cards so I could make the minimum payment on my credit card bill, hoping that he would get my checks reinstated.

He ended up hiring another lawyer at his expense to get me another doctor, she was supposed to get my checks reinstated, but they starved me out so long to where I had no choice but to settle for a measly $95,000 dollars.

I lost an 800 point credit score and have to file bankruptcy all because this sorry law firm didn't do their job. I I believe a lot of my health problems are because of this sorryness as well as the doctors and their staff.

So please people, choose a good law firm. A law firm that usually has a nurse on their staff is a good sign. I just chose this law firm because it was close to home and in the phone book ad it said they specialized in workman's comp cases, but that is not always the case.

Good luck everyone, and choose your law firm wisely. A good law firm should look out for your interest and health and advise you of your rights, and not let you go through what I've gone through.

Sincerely,

Barry

I guess I'll see what happens before I push the self destruct button
by: Barry

Hi,

I contacted my congressman and I also filed a complaint with the hospital. The hospital sent me a letter, telling me they're going to investigate the claim and once it's done they will contact me with their findings, course of action and resolution. So I guess I'll see what happens.

I think it's just a shame that Doctors can get away with stuff like this. I was not born a lawyer, I'm just a injured manufacturing worker trying to support my family.

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