Failure to diagnose or medical misdiagnosis cases often involve statute of limitations issues. That’s because oftentimes, the patient does not get the correct diagnosis until months, if not years, after the initial misdiagnosis. For instance, a woman whose breast cancer was initially misdiagnosed may find out she has breast cancer many months later. It is important to note that each case is unique and only a qualified medical malpractice lawyer with experience in failure to diagnose cases will be able to analyze the facts and provide legal advice on how to proceed.
In general, the statute of limitations in Philadelphia medical malpractice cases is two years from the date of injury. However, failure to diagnose cases are not clear cut due to the so called “discovery rule.” In failure to diagnose cases, Pennsylvania’s discovery rule may toll or stall the statute of limitations until the proper diagnosis is made. In other words, the injured plaintiff’s statute begins ticking when he or she reasonably knew or should have known of the doctor/specialist’s negligent diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
For example, if a patient should have been diagnosed properly in 2008, but wasn’t actually diagnosed until 2010, the statute would begin to run in 2010, upon being diagnosed. The patient would have two years from the date of diagnosis to bring their claim.
The key is whether the patient’s inability to discover the correct diagnosis was reasonable. This requires an in-depth analysis of the patient’s history, medical records and timeline of events.
Access our free legal article for more information about the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania failure to diagnose or medical misdiagnosis cases.
Medical malpractice cases involving failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis or negligent diagnosis require immediate expert legal attention. A qualified lawyer must review the timeline of facts to determine whether a given case is within the statute. In addition, a medical expert must also review the case to establish breach of a professional standard.
To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice and failure to diagnose lawyers, call (866) 641-0806. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Last updated: December 4, 2014