Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis Case in Pennsylvania


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Many patients who have experienced medical malpractice do not confirm that their doctor committed negligence until it is too late to do anything about it.

In Pennsylvania, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the date of the injury during which they must file a legal claim. There is a major exception to this two year rule – the discovery rule. A patient who was reasonably unable to discover their doctor’s negligence may be able to extend the statute of limitations. In some cases, the statute of limitations may begin running when the patient should have reasonably figured out that their doctor committed negligence. It is important to note that statute of limitations questions are very fact intensive and must be reviewed by a knowledgeable injury lawyer with experience handling medical malpractice issues.

Generally, Pennsylvania medical malpractice law will not toll the statute until the patient obtains actual confirmation that medical negligence occurred. Rather, the statute would begin ticking when the patient should have figured out that something was amiss.

Related Article: Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations in Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Cases

For example, let’s say a patient’s diagnostic film or lab report was misread and the patient does not learn they have cancer and forgoes important treatment. A year later, the patient goes to a new doctor who has the patient obtain the same diagnostic or lab test which reveals the cancer. A Pennsylvania court would likely find that the two year statute of limitations began running when the patient learned that the second set of tests revealed cancer. In other words, the patient should have reasonably suspected that the first set of tests was misread when they received the results from the second set of tests.

This is important because patients who believe they have a valid case of medical malpractice must act quickly. A lawyer who reviews any potential medical malpractice case must spend significant time ordering and reviewing the medical records to determine if there was actionable negligence. This often includes consulting with experts in the same field as the doctor/medical professional at issue.

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To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice and failure to diagnose lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Our medical malpractice attorneys serve victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.