Suing for Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
Are you thinking of filing a personal injury claim? Now is always the best time to start, since you only have a certain period to do so.
Each State imposes a statute of limitations on potential legal claims. In particular, a statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by
Pennsylvania State Law on the legal right of personal injury victims to file lawsuits against the individuals who harmed them. While strictly enforced, there are some exceptions for claims involving the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims.
To help you with your case, The Villari Firm has outlined below important information you need to know when suing for medical malpractice in the state of Pennsylvania.
- What is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania?
- What if the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
- What are Some Special Cases on the Statute of Limitations?
- What is the Statue of Repose?
- Financial Awards You May Be Entitled to
What is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania?
According to Pennsylvania law statute 5542(2), Pennsylvania imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. The two-year statute of limitations also applies to claims for medical malpractice. Despite the seemingly harsh nature of this rule, there are many exceptions.
The Discovery Rule
Sometimes, medical malpractice victims are unaware they suffered a personal injury due to a medical error. Medical malpractice claims featuring victims with undetected or unknown are subject to the discovery rule.
Under the discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date a victim discovered their personal injury was caused by medical negligence or could have learned their personal injury was caused by medical malpractice by exercising due diligence.
What if the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
If a victim was immediately aware of their injury or allowed two years to pass after discovering their injury and failed to have their lawsuit filed within the limitations period, their claim is likely precluded by the statute of limitations.
However, if a victim suffered an injury due to a hospital provider’s medical negligence but died for unrelated reasons, the surviving family members can still sue the medical provider for medical malpractice under 8302, the Pennsylvania statute regarding survival actions.
This is because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the two-year statute of limitations for survival actions relating to medical negligence claims starts from the date of a victim’s wrongful death.
What are Some Special Cases on the Statute of Limitations?
There are two situations in which Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations does not apply:
- If a medical provider leaves a foreign object inside a victim
- If the victim of medical negligence is under the age of 18
Under Pennsylvania medical malpractice law, the statute of limitations for minors who suffer injuries due to medical malpractice is paused. Specifically, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the minor victim reaches the age of 18. Accordingly, minors who suffered injuries due to medical malpractice have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.
What is the Statute of Repose?
A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations begins to run from the day a victim suffered an injury due to an act of negligence, e.g., the day a car collision occurred. A statute of repose begins to run from the date of an event.
It does matter whether negligence occurred on the date of the event. For example, the statute of repose for a building with negligently installed wiring begins to run on the date the building was completed and not the day the wiring was installed.
In 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down Pennsylvania’s seven-year statute of repose for medical malpractice claims because the Court held the statute of repose violated Pennsylvania’s Constitution.
Financial Awards or Damage You May Be Entitled To
You can obtain compensatory damages by claiming economic and non-economic medical malpractice damages in a medical malpractice case.
- Economic damages include the cost of your past and future medical treatment and your past and future lost earnings
- Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering you endured and disfigurement caused by your injuries.
Get in Touch with a Compassionate Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer Now!
A medical malpractice lawyer needs ample time to investigate the facts of your injury to build a strong case to bring in a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit. The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at The Villari Firm have been successfully representing injured victims in medical malpractice lawsuits for over two decades.
Talk to a lawyer today to receive legal advice on how you can obtain substantial compensation for your injuries, contact The Villari Firm to schedule your free consultation today.