What is the statute of limitations on medical malpractice?

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What is the statute of limitations on medical malpractice?

My last consult with my surgeon on 9/30/09 he said their was nothing more that he could do for me after he botched my breasts. Later last year I went to see a different surgeon on a non-related issue. The subject of my breasts came up. The surgeon said it will take 3 more surgeries to fix the botched up work. Am I still within the statute of limitation in PA? Should I speak with a medical malpractice attorney?

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in PA is 2 years--that is, you have two years after the claim arises to bring the legal action.In the event of surgery, this would generally be 2 years after the operation, not 2 years after the last consultation with the surgeon.

It also appears that PA has what's known a "discovery rule," which accomodates the fact that it often takes some time after medical malpractice to become aware of the injury; therefore, the prospective plaintiff gets 2 years from when she knew, or reasonable *should* have known, of the malpractice.

Depending on the exact time, whether you could know of the malpractice immediately or not, etc., you may or may not be withing the SOL still. You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney IMMEDIATELY who can file a case on your behalf if it looks like you may have one and if it's at least arguable that you're within the SOL...doing so will possibly allow you to go forward, whereas if you wait, there's little doubt but that you'd end up being barred.


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