Medical Malpractice Law
Statutes Of Limitations
The limitation period applicable to medical malpractice actions for injury or death is two years from the time the cause of action accrued. Idaho Code § 5219(4) (1994). The general rule for professional malpractice is that the cause of action accrues at the time of the occurrence, act, or omission. Id. However, when the action concerns a foreign object, the cause of action accrues when the injured party knows or should have known of the injury, and the action may be commenced within two years of the act complained of or one year following the date of accrual, whichever is later. Id. When the action is for wrongful death, the action accrues and the twoyear period begins to run at the time of death. Chapman v. Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., 105 Idaho 785, 673 P.2d 385 (1983). This statute has been held to be constitutional. Hawley v. Green, 117 Idaho 498, 788 P.2d 1321 (1990). If a claimant who is entitled to bring an action for personal injury or wrongful death is under the age of majority or is insane, the disability tolls the running of the limitations period. Idaho Code § 5230 (Supp. 1997). The disability must exist at the time the cause of action accrued. Idaho Code § 5235 (1994). However, the limitations period may not be tolled due to one’s minority or incompetency for more than six years. Idaho Code § 5230 (Supp. 1997).