The idea that a medical mistake could occur is not thought of by most people until the moment they experience some type of medical procedure. However, the leading causes of death in the nation have been evaluated to be due to medical mistakes. There are numerous mishaps that could cause a medical malpractice case to arise in Pennsylvania, but the most significant errors in medical malpractice are often the medical provider’s misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.
What are a misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis?
Within Pennsylvania, medical malpractice occurs when any healthcare provider acts in medical negligence. This is also defined as a breach or violation of the standard of care from a healthcare professional.
A misdiagnosis can mean various things for a patient. In some cases, this could mean that the health care provider has mistakenly given a patient a clean bill of health, whilst the patient is actually sustaining some type of illness or disease. This commonly occurs in emergency settings, in which there is less time to evaluate potential diagnoses. However, the serious nature of illness or injury in an emergency room causes a missed diagnosis to often lead to greater harm for the patient. A misdiagnosis could also mean that a physician has come to the wrong conclusion about what is wrong with a patient.
A delayed diagnosis occurs when a medical professional makes the correct diagnosis after a significant delay. This type of medical malpractice could initially begin as a missed or misdiagnosis that was later changed to the correct diagnosis, which could potentially result in further injury towards the patient.
Johns Hopkins researchers have stated that errors made when diagnosing cause more patient harm than any other medical mistake.
Is there a statute of limitations for medical malpractice?
Every state places its own statute of limitations with cases involving medical malpractice, which is the restriction of time on a patient to file a lawsuit against the negligent medical professional.
Due to Pennsylvania law, the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case is two years from the date of when the medical provider committed the malpractice. However, someone may file a medical malpractice lawsuit at a later date within a reasonable amount of time to discover the injury.
There is also a separate statute that is also applicable. The statute allows injured patients a maximum of seven years from the date the medical malpractice occurred, regardless of when the victim discovers a mistake has been made.
The exception of the two years statute of limitations would be for those under the age of 18. Specifically, if a minor were injured due to medical malpractice, they could file a claim for damages related to the injury at any time before the individual reaches 20 years of age.
Get legal assistance for your case
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of a healthcare provider in a medical malpractice lawsuit, seek an attorney as soon as possible. With the Dan Doyle Law Group, we will have the experience and qualifications to fully investigate every detail of your case to secure the compensation you are entitled to, such as:
- Medical expenses related to the malpractice
- Coverage of lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
- Pain and Suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Punitive damages against the healthcare agency or provider at fault
When you need a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, you can contact us today for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at 215-987-3730.