QUESTION

Can I sue for personal injury after a misdiagnosis?

Asked on May 04th, 2011 on Personal Injury - Pennsylvania
More details to this question:
When I was 14 I had what was I thought pink eye. My doctor told me it was nothing to worry about and gave me some eye drops. We came back to her a week later telling her it wasn't getting any better and I was having trouble seeing out of it. She again said it was nothing to worry about and to continue the eye drops. After a couple more day's she finally admitted to not having a clue what it was. So, we went to the hospital. Turns out it was shingles and I eventually went blind being told that if I had come in two days before I would still have my sight. They did 2 surgeries on it and later when I 17 they removed it completely. And as a result of all the steroids I had to be on I developed adrenal insufficiency. I'm 22 now and I believe the statue has run out but I was wondering if there is anything I could do? My parents didn't sue at the time because I was told that those surgeries would possibly bring my sight back. But now that I also have adrenal problems I'm mad, as if losing an eye wasn't enough. So I would really like some help.
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Answered on May 10th, 2011 at 10:02 AM
You should have sued for medical malpractice at the time. It appears the statute has run out. I suggest you consult an attorney to evaluate your case further.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 4:22 PM
I'm really sorry to hear about your injuries. I strongly urge you to meet with an attorney and discuss your case. This is a very serious matter and you should not depend on obtaining advice over the internet only. Most attorneys offer free initial consultation and in this type of a situation it may be a contingency arrangement - so you have nothing to loose but everything to gain by contacting a local attorney. Good luck!

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 4:21 PM
Any malpractice case is a complex mix of legal and medical issues. You would need to prove that the mistake could have been easily avoided by other doctors and that as a result of the mistake you have the injuries. You need a doctor to establish these opinions. As to the Statute of Limitations, there are specific statutes and legal opinions that provide some relief when a child is involved. You should discuss these issues with a local attorney that handles medical malpractice claims involving minors.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Sorry for your struggle and for the bad judgment of your parents. You had 3 years from the date of the misdiagnosis or in the case of a minor (you) 3 years from your 18th birthday.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 4:03 PM
Since you were a minor the one year statute of limitations didn't start running until you were 18 However it appears to be too late since you are 22.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 12:07 PM
I believe the statute of limitations has expired. The statute of limitations Is tolled while you are a minor. However, once you are 18 years of age, you have one year to bring suit if the SOL would have expired but for you being a minor. The SOL, which is three years, normally begins to run the date you knew, or should have known that you have a case. Thus, unless you could argue that you had no way of knowing that there was a negligent misdiagnosis until you were 19, the SOL has expired. Even though there was misdiagnosis, it doesn't mean you had a viable suit even if you had brought it in time. If a reasonable doctor under the circumstances could have missed the diagnosis, then there is no negligence and no case. In other words. Not all misdiagnoses are malpractice.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 11:55 AM
I am sorry to hear about your loss. The statute of limitations is two years in a personal injury or medical malpractice case. In some cases, a malpractice case deadline can be extended under something called the discovery rule but the latest date for a claim in a medical malpractice case is five years from the date of harm. A minor as a year following his eighteenth birthday to bring a claim. For all the above reasons, based the facts you listed, you would be barred from bringing a claim.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 11:43 AM
Need medical malpractice attorney but maybe too late.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 10:50 AM
You certainly had a medical malpractice claim, but it probably expired 2 years after your 18th birthday. You should probably meet with an attorney to research the issue of whether you need to know and appreciate all of the damage before your statute commences to run. It would seem to me you knew of the malpractice when you were 14, you knew it led to your blindness and just because you had additional damage downstream, I dont think that would give you a new start date for the statute of limitations.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 10:49 AM
I'm so sorry. You are correct that the statute of limitations seems to have run out. The time was tolled while you were a minor - but began running when you turned 18. Unfortunately, it 'ran out' on your 21st birthday. There really isn't much you can do against that original doctor at this point - other than, perhaps, report the doctor to the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Board. It won't get you any compensation, but it might make you feel better knowing that someone has investigated the situation.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 10:48 AM
This sounds like it could be medical malpractice. However, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice is two years. Considering the malpractice occurred beginning at age 14 and ending at age 17, and you are now 22, it is very likely the statue has expired. However, you should contact an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice to make sure (unfortunately, I'm not handling those types of cases). Good luck.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 10:48 AM
In Florida we have a statute of repose that says you can't bring a claim more than 4 years from the actual act of negligence, so that bars you from bringing a claim.

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Answered on May 05th, 2011 at 10:46 AM
Friend. Thank you for your inquiry. Pennsylvania law generally places a two year deadline on the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. The two year decline does not begin until you reach 18. It is likely you had until your twentieth birthday to bring action. Under these circumstances, I do not believe my firm can be of assistance.

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