A suit for damages for negligence against the doctor should be filed within two years from the date of alleged negligence. A suit filed after. two years will be dismissed as being beyond the period of limitation. Where breach of duty to provide care as per a particular contract between a patient and a doctor is committed, legal action can be initiated up to three
years from the date of alleged negligence.
THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR:
The patient need not prove negligence in case where the rule of res ipsa loquitur applies, which means “the thing or fact speaks for
itself”. The patient has to merely state what according to him was the act of negligence.
Conditions to be satisfied:
(1) that in the absence
of negligence the injury would not have occurred ordinarily;
(2) that the doctor had exclusive control over the injury producing instrument or treatment;
(3) that the patient was not guilty of contributory negligence.
Res judicata (S. 300, Cr.P.C.):-
If a question of negligence against a doctor has already be~n decided
by a Court in a dispute between the doctor and his patient. the patient will not be allowed to contest
the same question in another proceeding between himself and the doctor on the same set of facts. Only appeal can be made.