Medical practitioners must attend many courses and spend significant time training, yet they still make errors, and malpractice often occurs. The Pennsylvania medical malpractice statute limits how long you must file a claim after an injury or death caused by medical negligence to receive payment.
When can you sue for medical malpractice in Pennsylvania?
Taking legal action with lawyers to uphold rights or punish wrongdoing is barred after the period specified by the limitation period. That is to say, filing certain types of claims is a time limit. Time limits on filing lawsuits mean you may lose your right to seek damages for a given claim if you wait too long. In the state of Pennsylvania, the time limit on filing a claim for medical negligence is two years. The clock on this limitation period usually starts ticking the day the accident occurs. This is why it is important to consider a Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney for cases.
Suppose you have to have a surgical procedure on your left leg, and the date is January 15, 2017. The surgeon is careless and operates on your right leg. The deadline for filing a claim to recover remuneration for loss or damage you incurred because of his carelessness is January 15, 2019. After its date, you can forget about filing a claim because it will be automatically denied. Not even any lawyer or law firm can help you in this case.
Does the Pennsylvania statute of limitations have any loopholes?
Time limits set by the medical negligence statute of limitations are firm and cannot be negotiated. However, there are three potential scenarios in which the statute of limitations would be suspended:
The principle of discovery:
Till the plaintiff knows the harm or its source, the statute of limitations does not begin to run. In essence, time does not pass until you become aware of your injury.
For example, let’s say you were scheduled for surgery on January 12, 2015. The surgeon will insert a surgical sponge into your body and keep it there for the duration of the operation. Nothing out of the norm occurs until the sponge causes problems three years later.
You can’t launch a claim for medical malpractice damages at this late date due to the limitation period. Assuming, however, you don’t learn of the harm for another three years, the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking unless you do. Accordingly, even if the statute of limitations has run out, you may still file your claim and seek help from law firms or skilled attorneys under the discovery principle.
Furthermore, dishonest concealment may suspend the statute of limitations. In cases where the defendant, with an attorney, deliberately conceals information that would put a fair plaintiff on the notification that harm has occurred, the statute of limitations will be suspended. Note that purposeful and accidental deceit on the defendant’s part counts as fraud.
A minor was the victim:
If the sufferer of medical negligence is a minor, they have till two years after they turn 18 to launch a lawsuit.
When a doctor commits an error during a major surgery performed on a 13-year-old, the patient has until they become 20 to bring a claim. Hire Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney to help you in such cases.