What is the time period in which to file for medical malpractice?

I had 3 knee replacements in an 18 month period of time; the last 1 was done almost 4 years ago because of knee replacement failure. Have been in pain ever since and seeing pain management doctor. I went back to original surgeon, who didn’t see any problem and was determined I had “reached my plateau”. However, I saw another orthopedic surgeon in the past 2 days and with X-rays viewed has been determined that my knee cap is laying completely to the side of the knee, not where it is suppose to be-reason for the pain and instability. Do I have a case for malpractice or is it too late to file?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, it is most likely too late. The statute of limitations, or time period within which to sue, in your state for medical malpractice is 2 years, but the last surgery was 4 years ago. Sometimes, you can extend the  time to file if there was no reason to suspect a problem until later, but you write that you had pain "ever since" the last replacment, which means that you had a warning 4 years ago that there was a problem--i.e. you should have gone  to another doctor years ago, not in the past 2 days, and discovered the problem within the original 2 year period to sue. Having waited to seek a second opinion, you are now past the statutory period.

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