Medical malpractice is a negligence claim whereby the person bringing the claim is doing so because of a medical error of some kind. Whether it is failure to diagnose, doctor error or an error by some other medical professional, the purpose of the claim is to assess blame when an injury occurs as the result of medical negligence. For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the individual bringing the claim has to prove its case in chief, which means that the required elements for this type of case have to be satisfied. There has to be a duty owed by the medical professional, a breach of that duty that resulted in a proximate and actual injury and damages.
Each state has rules and regulations that deal with medical malpractice claims. When a claim has to be filed depends on that state's predetermined guidelines. Statute of limitations means the timeframe in which a claim is ripe for filing. In Pennsylvania, when it comes to a lawsuit based on medical malpractice, there is a two year time period within to file a lawsuit, starting from when the victim is aware or should be aware that they suffered an injury. If you do not file within this window, then the claim becomes moot and cannot be filed.
Along with filing a medical malpractice claim in a timely fashion, courts in Pennsylvania have passed legislation which provides for other requirements to be met. The claimant can only file a medical malpractice claim in the county where the injury occurred and the attorney for the plaintiff has to secure a certificate from a physician that is educated in the malpractice matter before the court. This certificate will show that the medical treatment administered was not acceptable in light of industry standards.
While this information cannot be considered legal advice, being cognizant of the dates in which you can file a medical malpractice filing is paramount in pursing the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Source: FindLaw, "Time Limits to Bring a Case: The "Statue of Limitations," accessed Aug. 13, 2014