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Don’t Wait to File Birth Injury Claims in Philadelphia
The anticipation of a baby’s birth is one of the great joys of life. When that event is destroyed by the negligence or misconduct of a physician, it’s devastating. The last thing you probably want to think about is filing a lawsuit. But while it may feel painful or overwhelming, the sooner you get the legal process started, the better.
As you may know, there is a time limit to file most lawsuits, known as a “statute of limitations.” That means a claim cannot be filed after a certain amount of time has passed. It’s because the passage of time makes it more difficult to obtain evidence (such as pathology slides, electronic fetal monitoring strips, witnesses, and more) and prove a case.
The statute of limitations varies from state to state. In Pennsylvania birth injury matters:
- If your baby dies during birth, you have two years to file for a wrongful death injury.
- Under the Pennsylvania Minors Tolling Statute, you can file on behalf of your child until his or her 18th birthday, and your child can file up until two years after that.
- Under the Pennsylvania Discovery Rule, the time may be extended for filing. This happens when the effects of a birth injury don’t show up until the child is older.
Note: statutes for filing a birth injury matter in our neighboring states of Delaware and New Jersey are different, as we covered in a post back in 2012: http://www.duffyfirm.com/blog/birth-injury/what-is-the-time-frame-for-pursuing-a-birth-injury-claim
Most importantly, it’s critical to file as soon as possible, as birth injury cases are often complex. It’s a time-consuming process to gather evidence to prove that a birth injury was preventable, so consulting an attorney as early as possible gives the best chance at compiling a strong case for medical malpractice.
Contact us if you have questions on this post, or would like to discuss a possible birth injury matter in Philadelphia. Consultations are always free.