Timeliness matters in medical malpractice suits

When a person is admitted to the hospital—whether in Philadelphia or anywhere else in U.S. — it is reasonable to expect a certain standard of care. Unfortunately, sometimes medical treatment doesn’t always live up to that standard and a person may leave the hospital with worsened conditions than they were admitted for. Medical malpractice can have lasting effects well beyond the time spent in the hospital; the road to recovery is often long and expensive. Many people don’t realize this immediately, however, and wait too long to file a malpractice claim.

As with many types of lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. If the case is not filed within a given amount of time, it can be dismissed. It sounds black and white, but there can sometimes be a grey area when determining what point the time limit begins and ends. A Washington man who was injured while being treated in a hospital in Wyoming originally had his case thrown out because the Wyoming law states that claims of negligence or malpractice must be filed no more than two years after the alleged incident occurred. The man sustained an injury to his shoulder while in the care of a Cheyenne hospital in February 2008; he did not seek action until March 2010. A district court judge ruled that the action was brought too late. This ruling was recently overturned by the high court, however, because the man was still in the hospital’s care in mid-March 2008.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a medical error, suffered from worsened conditions or even received a permanent disability from a health care provider, it may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney—the sooner the better.

Source: Wyoming Tribune Eale, “Wyoming Supreme Court reverses malpractice ruling,” Kelsey Bray, May 30, 2013.



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