Medical malpractice is a complicated area of law, but it is absolutely necessary. People who are hurt by medical mistakes need a way to get compensation for what has been done to them. Victims of a healthcare professional’s mistakes may need a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney. At The Weitz Firm, LLC, we understand this area of law and are ready to help.
If you were injured as a minor or know someone that was, you may be wondering how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Today, we want to discuss how the statute of limitations is different for minors in Pennsylvania.
One of the most important things to be aware of if you have been the victim of a medical mistake is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Each state establishes their own statute of limitations in these cases. In Pennsylvania, victims of medical malpractice generally have two years from the date the mistake took place or from when the mistake was discovered. However, a case cannot be filed more than seven years from the date the incident happened.
But what about minors?
Johns Hopkins researchers tell us that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US. Many of these mistakes happen to minors.
The two- and seven-year time limit does not apply when it comes to minors who have been the victim of a medical mistake. Children injured by medical mistakes are governed under the minor tolling statute.
Pennsylvania law says that a child who is under 18 at the time of their injury has two years from the day they turn 18 to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, regardless of when the injury happened. Theoretically, a mistake could have happened before the victim turned one year old and they could file a lawsuit nearly 20 years later.
You may be wondering why a parent would not file a medical malpractice on behalf of their child, which they are fully within their rights to do. Many parents are suffering emotionally when their child is ill. They hold out hope that their child will get better, or they feel hopeless. That is why PA law gives minors the right to sue after their eighteenth birthday.
If you or a loved one have been harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of a healthcare professional, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. If you were harmed as a minor, you need to act as quickly as possible after you turn 18. You may be eligible for significant compensation, including: