Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Statutes of Limitations in Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Cases

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | May 08, 2020 | 0 Comments

If you suffered injuries that you believe were caused by a Philadelphia doctor's medical malpractice, it's important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. 

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Pennsylvania

In its simplest form, a statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit for a person to file a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations differ depending on which state the action is filed in and what type of lawsuit is being brought. If an injured person fails to file the lawsuit within the timeframe provided in the statute of limitations, his or her claim for damages will be barred. 

In Pennsylvania, an injured plaintiff who wants to file a lawsuit against another person for medical malpractice must do so within two years of the date the injury occurred. Unless an exception applies, if a person attempts to file a lawsuit against the medical provider after this two-year period has passed, his or her lawsuit will not be successful.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Philadelphia

Like most areas of law, a statute of limitations is not always black and white–there are exceptions to the rule which can allow a victim of medical malpractice to file a lawsuit after the two-year period has passed. 

Tolling for Minors

The state of Pennsylvania has a "tolling" statute when it comes to medical malpractice claims for individuals who were injured as minors. The statute provides that if a person is injured by a medical provider before turning 18, the statute of limitations is stopped–or tolled–until the person turns eighteen years of age. Once the person turns eighteen, the statute of limitations timeframe will begin to run. 

The Discovery Rule 

Although some injuries caused by a medical provider's negligence are immediately noticeable, other types of injuries are less obvious at first. Say, for example, that a patient undergoes abdominal surgery in June of 2018, and did not experience any adverse reaction until February of 2019 when the patient begins experiencing severe pain in the area of operation. The patient goes to the emergency room and an X-ray is performed, uncovering a scalpel blade in the patient's abdomen. As the patient did not discover the issue until February of 2019, the statute of limitations would start at this time. This is known as the Discovery Rule, which allows a patient an extended timeframe for which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Injured By a Medical Provider's Negligence? We Can Help

Although medical malpractice cases come in dozens of unique forms, they all have a common factor: it's important to seek an attorney's help as soon as possible. The team of medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are committed to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve for the injuries they never should have suffered. Don't wait until it is too late to seek justice for your injuries--to discuss your injuries with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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