How did we answer that? #StatuteOfLimitations
We had a woman come into the law library and ask us about how to sue a doctor for a medical injury (sometimes called malpractice). Through follow-up questions, we were able to determine that she was not looking for resources about the legal process or how to file suit. Instead, she was wanting to know how long since the injury occurred did she have to initiate a lawsuit, also known as a statute of limitations.
Conveniently, the Oregon State Bar has a book called “Oregon Statutory Time Limitations.” Like their other publications, there is a convenient index in the back. We showed this book to the patron and she was able to find the entry about medical injury. In the book, it referenced a specific ORS (Oregon Revised Statute, the legal code for the state of Oregon).
While there are many places to look up an ORS, in this case we used the physical copy we have in the law library. Our patron was able to read the statute and determine how long she had since the time of her injury to file a suit against the doctor.
On that day she made it clear that she was busy in life right now and wasn’t prepared to act and she only wanted to know how long she had to file suit. We let her know that once she was ready, we had resources she could access.