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What Is the Discovery Rule in Medical Malpractice Law?

by The Beasley Firm  |  August 25, 2023  |  

Extending the Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania MedMal Cases 

In nearly all personal injury cases, including medical malpractice claims, there is a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations places a limit on the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the injury. However, a little-known exception allows a person two years from the date the malpractice was discovered to file a claim. 

At The Beasley Firm, we are Pennsylvaniaโ€™s leading medical malpractice litigation firm. Our legal team includes doctors and other medical professionals that have recovered some of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in state history. If you believe that you were the victim of medical malpractice, contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation. 

What Is the Discovery Rule in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases?

Under state law, individuals who are injured as a result of medical malpractice generally have two years from the date of the injury to bring a lawsuit. Failure to bring a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations can result in your claim for damages being denied. 

However, in recognizing that some medical malpractice injuries are not discovered until substantially after the initial date of injury, Pennsylvania established the discovery rule.

The discovery rule extends the amount of time that medical malpractice victims can take legal action to within two years of the date that the injury is discovered or could have reasonably been discovered through due diligence.

What to Do If You Suspect You Were the Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you suspect that you suffered an injury related to a doctor or healthcare professionalโ€™s negligence, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Even if the initial misdiagnosis or negligent act took place over two years ago, you may still be able to file a claim for damages. 

Under the discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations begins from the date the injury, misdiagnosis, or negligent act was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered. Thus, if you are informed by a doctor or healthcare provider that you were given an improper diagnosis or that you sustained an injury related to a previous medical procedure, you need to act immediately to protect your right to recovery. While two years may seem like a long time to file a lawsuit, it can take months to investigate the claim and receive the necessary documents to prove your case. 

Contact Our Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation

Did you suffer from medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation. We have secured over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. 

Our lawyers know what it takes to hold negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals accountable for their wrongdoing. Do not wait until it is too late. There are never any fees unless we win. Call today to get started. We handle cases throughout Philadelphia and statewide.

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