A: The answer depends on many different facts. Medical malpractice cases have different and shorter time periods than general negligence cases. Cases against City hospitals and clinics and State hospitals have very limited time periods in which to file a claim, and then file a lawsuit. There is something known as continuous treatment in malpractice cases which may extend the time you have to file your lawsuit. Each case must be examined in detail to see where your facts fit. In cases involving birth injuries, you generally have ten years from the date of birth within which to start a lawsuit for your child. There are many more...but the best thing you can do is speak to an experienced attorney to answer your questions "How much time do I have to start a lawsuit?"