If I have left arm nerve damage due to medical malpractice but it happened at birth 23 years ago, can I still sue the hospital?

Asked on September 23, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the medical malpractice occurred in PA, it is too late to sue the hospital because you have missed the statute of limitations.

In PA, there is a two year statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case which means your lawsuit must be filed within two years of the medical malpractice or within two years after you discovered or should have discovered the medical malpractice.

However, since you were a minor when the medical malpractice occurred, the two year statute of limitations did not expire until two years after your 18th birthday.  Therefore, you could have filed the lawsuit until age 20; however, at 23 you have missed the statute of limitations and your claim is barred.  Once the statute of limitations has expired, you have lost your rights forever in the matter.

If the medical malpractice did not occur in PA, the statute of limitations varies from state to state; however, it is unlikely that you would be able to file your lawsuit 23 years after the medical malpractice occurred, assuming that it occurred in another state.

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