If you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice, you may be feeling confused and overwhelmed by what you have been through. Pursuing the compensation you are entitled to can seem impossible, but with the right legal team by your side, you can rest easier.
When important legal details, like the statute of limitations, come up, your malpractice attorney can handle it on your behalf. But that does not mean you should not be prepared or have an understanding of how the statute of limitations could affect your case.
In a recent opinion issued by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, families of people who died from medical malpractice may be able to pursue claims outside the state’s two-year statute of limitations. This is because of the court’s decision to define the term “cause of death” as being, “conduct the plaintiff alleges led to the decedent’s death”.
This comes after the family of Mary Ann Whitman, who died from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, filed a medical malpractice claim against Whitman’s primary care physician, who ordered the CT scan, approximately six years after her death.
While lower courts sided with the primary care physician, appeals courts found that conduct leading to the death of a patient is included in the legal definition of “cause of death”. This allowed Whitman’s family’s lawsuit to move forward, much to the dismay of physicians and healthcare providers across the state.
For the vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits, Pennsylvania law allows for a maximum of two years before the statute of limitations expires. But the statute of limitations can become complex when victims of medical malpractice aren’t sure when the statute of limitations begins for them.
For many people, the statute of limitations would begin on the day that the act of medical malpractice occurred. But what happens if you don’t become aware that you were a victim of medical malpractice until days, weeks, or even months later? This can further complicate matters, especially when an expired statute of limitations could mean the difference between you being awarded compensation or having your claim dismissed.
If you are not sure whether the statute of limitations is going to be a concern in your case, or if you are unsure whether you can pursue a Philadelphia medical malpractice claim, contact our office to find out.
If you have reason to believe that the statute of limitations could have an impact on your ability to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania, contact The Weitz Firm as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case.
If our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys can take on your case, we’ll work tirelessly to hold the liable party accountable. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation when you fill out our online contact form. Or call our office at 267-587-6240 to get started on your claim as soon as today.