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Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

If a medical professional injures you, you may have a legal claim. This is “medical malpractice.” We hold medical professionals to the highest standard of care. Healthcare professionals train in routine and emergent procedures to ensure the safety of patients. The medical malpractice statute of limitations determines how much time you have to file a lawsuit.

The Clock Is Ticking

There is a time limit to file a lawsuit against healthcare providers after an injury. This is the “statute of limitations.” Below are some important facts about the medical malpractice statute of limitations in PA and NJ.

what is malpractice

Medical Malpractice Definition

According to the Legal Dictionary, medical malpractice is defined as:

“Improper, unskilled, or negligent treatment of a patient by a physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional.”

To prove medical malpractice occurred, you have to prove there was negligence. A patient who alleges medical malpractice must prove the following:

  • The physician owed a duty of care
  • Physician violated the applicable standard of care
  • The patient suffered a compensable injury
  • The injury was directly caused by the substandard conduct

Read more about the different types of medical malpractice. Please note: the patient bears the burden of proof in all medical malpractice cases. 

medical malpractice statute of limitations explanation

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases

In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is 2 years. This means you have 2 years from the date of the injury to file your claim.

But, in certain situations, it is impossible for a patient to know there was an injury until later. In these cases, the statute timer begins when you knew or should have known there was a problem. In effect, this means you have 2 years from the date you discovered your injury.

It is vital to pay attention to this timeframe. Once the 2 years have expired, you no longer are eligible to file a claim. Additionally, it takes time for a lawyer to file a claim. It is not advisable to wait. If you suspect an injury, talk to a medical malpractice lawyer. The statute of limitations is enforced to prevent fraudulent and cruel case filings against the defendant.

The Affidavit of Merit

In New Jersey, the “Affidavit of Merit” is needed in medical malpractice claims. Section 2A:53A-27 of New Jersey statutes states plaintiffs file this affidavit after the defendant health care provider has responded to the claim. The affidavit must be filed within 60 days of this time.

Likewise, Pennsylvania has a similar process. PA Code Rule 1042.3 describes the Certificate of Merit. 

affidavit of merit in malpractice lawsuit

A plaintiff can file this affidavit to prove: 

“a reasonable probability that the care, skill or knowledge exercised or exhibited in the treatment, practice or work that is the subject of the complaint, fell outside acceptable professional or occupational standards or treatment practices.”

This means an expert will prove the defendant did not meet the medical standard of care. This proves there was inappropriateness; therefore, grounds for a lawsuit. 

medical malpractice law firm in pennsylvania and new jersey

Medical Malpractice Law Firm

Were you or a loved one injured by a medical professional? Protect your rights. Speak to an attorney.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Law Firm

Our legal team is ready to fight for your right to compensation. Medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide proper procedures. They also must ensure your safety during your treatment and medical procedures.

As of now, there is NO CAP on compensatory damages awarded in court. This is the right time to call. Call or text us today at 215-232-1000 and we will begin building your case. We will aggressively defend you to hold the wrongdoers accountable.

Free Legal Consultations

At Kane & Silverman, consultations are always free. You never pay us anything unless we recover money for you.