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How long do you have to file a medical malpractice suit?

When someone is injured by a doctor's negligence in Pennsylvania, he or she may eventually reach the point of considering a malpractice suit. Malpractice is a term used to describe misconduct in several different professions, from medicine to law to dentistry. When malpractice occurs in a hospital or other medical setting, the stakes are often even higher than they are in other professions. As a result, a victim of a medical professional's negligence may consider seeking damages for the injuries they've suffered.

Malpractice cases can quickly grow complicated, since they may involve in-depth knowledge of standards of a profession as well as expert opinions and testimony. Since victims of malpractice are rarely medical professionals themselves, the issues at hand rely significantly on other professionals in the field. Compounding matters is the fact that a victim of alleged

medical malpractice

has only a certain period of time in which to file suit. If a victim waits too long to initiate proceedings, he or she could suffer damages without compensation.

In general, in Pennsylvania, a person has a period of two years to file a malpractice suit against a doctor, hospital or other medically negligent entity. The two-year period starts on the date on which the alleged malpractice took place. Of course, a person may not suspect malpractice has occurred until much later, so their period of time for filing suit may be much less than two years in some cases. There are some exceptions, though; a malpractice attorney can best explain how, in some instances, the two-year period begins on the date the malpractice was discovered.

Medical expenses stemming from personal injury due to malpractice can be significant. Moreover, an ongoing medical issue usually doesn't entail a "one-time" expense but rather a progressive stream of bills that can become unmanageable. If malpractice is suspected, obtaining legal help in a timely manner can stem the tide of medical expenses and begin the process of securing adequate compensation.

Source: The Erie County Bar Association, "


," accessed Aug. 25, 2014

Source: The Erie County Bar Association, "


," accessed Aug. 25, 2014

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