Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania Years After Treatment?
February 14, 2019
Medical malpractice cases are considered to be civil cases, which means they are under a strict deadline known as the statute of limitations. This means that a victim of medical malpractice must file a lawsuit within a specific time frame in order to have their case considered valid. Specifically for injuries caused by negligence from a medical professional, the general rule of thumb is that the start date for the statute of limitations is on the day of injury discovery or a date that is determined to be a reasonable time frame that a patient should have discovered the injury. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is within two years of the determined discovery day.
Extended Tolls for Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Pennsylvania law puts a 7-year cap from the date of medical malpractice committed, regardless of the injury or condition that is discovered by the victim.
In many states, there are also infancy tolls in place for medical malpractice statute of limitations to allow those injured, while too young to file a lawsuit, to have ample time to sue. However, these are uncommon, and proving negligence can be difficult after so long and when you were too young to be fully aware of the situation.
For those who are injured before they are 18, they have a 7-year cap from their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit. It is important to be aware of time limits!
Importance of the ‘Certificate of Merit’ in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases
Pennsylvania law requires any victim suing for medical malpractice injuries and conditions to have a quality medical professional examine their case and state that there is “reasonable probability” that a personal injury in question is due to the negligence of a certain medical professional. This is known as a Certificate of Merit. You cannot select just any medical worker. It must be one that has “sufficient education, training, knowledge and experience” to have a credible testimony on behalf of your health.
It is important to keep this requirement in mind when examining your time limits to sue for medical malpractice. Pennsylvania law requires a plaintiff to submit this with their proposal or within 60 days of the lawsuit submission date. It is crucial if you are running out of time to sue especially, to organize and schedule with the needed medical advisor as quickly as possible to get this document. If you do not submit the document in a timely matter, your medical malpractice case will be dismissed by the civil court judge.
Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C., are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Aliquippa, Washington, Butler, and Uniontown. Call us today at (412) 766-1455 or email us to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 3634 California Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.