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According to the ABPLA - the only accredited American Bar Association institution responsible for certifying attorneys in medical malpractice, medical malpractice/medical negligence occurs if a health care professional, hospital or doctor injures a patient through act/s of negligence or omissions. The act/s can be knowingly/unknowingly.
The negligence can arise because of several reasons ranging from errors in diagnosis to errors/omissions during treatment, health management, and/or aftercare. Negligence can be established if the following occurs:
i. A standard of care violation
The law recognizes that there are standards of care customary within the medical community that medical professionals should follow. Where a medical professional or a physician does not act in a reasonably-prudent manner and violates these standards of care, a breach of a duty may have occurred.
While a standard of care violation must be established for a medical negligence claim to be pursued, the violation isn't enough on its own to result in a case. The violation must be proven to cause injury for the healthcare professional/hospital in question to be found liable.
The patient seeking to establish a medical malpractice claim must show that the injuries sustained wouldn't have occurred if the hospital and/or health care professional/s didn't act negligently.
iii. Injury causing significant damages
The nature of medical negligence cases makes them expensive to litigate. Generally, to successfully pursue a medical malpractice claim, an expert witness (usually a licensed physician) must be retained. An attorney handling a medical malpractice claim must compensate the expert witness for his time at depositions, trial and for treating the patient and creating medical reports for potential use in court.
Despite the ability of a patient to establish that negligence occurred and gave rise to an injury, pursuing a medical malpractice claim may not be worthwhile if the injuries are minor due to the high litigation costs associated with these claims.
Typical examples of damages include, but aren't limited to disability, pain and suffering, loss of income and past and future medical bills.
Group of doctors, surgery team operating on a patient. Patient under anesthesia in surgical room.
Medical malpractice/negligence takes many forms. The most common include:
Oncologist examining the MRI scan results of medical patient. Brain pathology medical research.
Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania takes many forms, such as those discussed in the above examples of medical malpractice. While medical malpractice negligence is typically defined similarly across most states, the statute of limitation will generally vary. The statute of limitations is a timer that places a time limit on when a plaintiff can file a claim. PA’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims will differ from other states.
In Pennsylvania, generally, medical malpractice/negligence claims must be filed within two years beginning on the date a patient discovers their injuries or should have reasonably discovered the injuries, with some exceptions.
Injured patients who believe they have been a victim of medical malpractice should consult with a medical malpractice attorney licensed in the state where the harm is believed to have occurred as soon as possible to determine the statute of limitations applicable to them.
Flag Map of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (PA). Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
Medical malpractice patients in Pennsylvania are allowed to collect two types of damages, namely, compensatory and non-economic damages. Unlike many states, Pennsylvania doesn't cap the amount of damages a patient can be awarded.
The amount of compensation potentially available to a plaintiff depends on many factors, including but not limited to the quality of the attorney handling the case, whether the case is in federal or state court, the severity of the injuries, the egregiousness of the physician or hospital’s conduct, the medical malpractice insurer involved and the employment situation of the injured patient.
The experience of the attorney handling a case could have a significant impact on outcome, including compensation.
Medical negligence in Philadelphia
Medical negligence in Pittsburgh
Medical negligence in Allentown
Medical negligence in Erie
Medical negligence in Reading
A neurosurgeon or orthopedics physician examining lumbar vertebra model in medical office.
A medical malpractice claim is initiated in Pennsylvania by the filing of a legal complaint in a proper court of law properly alleging with sufficient factual support that medical malpractice occurred and gave rise to injuries. In addition, PA, the plaintiff (injured patient) must file a certificate of merit (a medical malpractice attorney will handle this).
The certificate must state (1) that an “appropriate licensed professional” has assessed the claim and believes that the healthcare professional/hospital in question acted negligently causing the injuries suffered by the patient, (2) that the claim alleged is based solely on allegations that other licensed professionals whom the defendant “is responsible” deviated from an “acceptable professional standard”, or (3) expert testimony is not necessary in the case. The certificate may be filed with the initial complaint or within 60 days (after filing the complaint).
Given the complicated nature of medical malpractice cases and what's at stake, such cases should be left to seasoned attorneys only. This introduces a critical question:
An attorney and counselor reviewing legal documents with a client in an office meeting.
You can use simple, fast, and effective service like FindMedicalMalpracticeLawyers.com. With Find Medical Malpractice Lawyers, you can find the best PA medical malpractice lawyers near you with a proven track record of winning malpractice lawsuits.
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Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before relying on this information, you should always consult with a licensed attorney in your state.
• What is Medical Malpractice?
• Pennsylvania Code | Subchapter B. Action In Trespass: Rule 1042.3. Certificate of Merit
• Superior Court of Pennsylvania: Kimble, R. v. Laser Spine Institute, LLC, 617 EDA 2019 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2020)
• Aspinwall surgeon’s life destroyed when UPMC doctors ignored stroke symptoms, lawsuit says
• Couple awarded $8.5 million in medical malpractice suit against St. Luke’s University Health Network
• Erie malpractice lawsuit ends in $1.25 million verdict
• Jury finds Reading Hospital negligent, awards $9.6 million to teen in malpractice suit
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Finding a qualified and experienced medical malpractice lawyer is not easy, especially when the stakes are as high as your potential right to fair and just compensation.
At FindMedicalMalpracticeLawyers.com, we are experienced lawyers that leverage our insider industry knowledge to refer you to the best lawyers in your area who have a track record of obtaining significant results.
By providing our service, we hope that we can ease the unnecessary stress that comes along with searching for the right attorney and provide you with a resource for your questions during a difficult time. Learn more about us.
To find the best medical malpractice lawyer, you should search for a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice law and who has handled cases similar to yours. In most circumstances, you should hire a local attorney with at least a few years of experience trying cases and who has industry recognition. Lastly, you should also look at the attorney's historical results to get a sense of outcomes for the lawyer's past clients.
If you are injured, you should always consult with an experienced attorney to determine if you have a potential medical malpractice claim. Red flags that should alert you to consult with an attorney include (i) instances where a medical procedure was performed for which you weren't advised of the risks or did not consent to, (ii) a physician admits (they will rarely do this) to a medical mistake and (iii) you have undergone multiple procedures in an attempt to correct a past one that went wrong.
Medical malpractice settlements vary widely based on numerous factors, including but not limited to the egregiousness of the medical mistake, the type and extent of the injuries suffered and the attorney or law firm handling your case. Our attorneys can help you understand the potential value of your claim and refer you to an attorney who can maximize any potential recovery.
Medical malpractice is caused by physician errors due to the failure to exercise care, a lack of experience or training, a lack of proper communication and coordination between medical staff and as a result of overworked physicians.
Generally, there are two grounds for medical malpractice claims. The most common ground is negligence. Negligence generally means that a physician's action or inaction fell below the standard of care within the medical community. Depending on your state, another ground for medical malpractice may be lack of informed consent. This generally occurs when a physician fails to disclose information a reasonable patient would have wanted to know when deciding whether to undergo a procedure or when a physician performs a procedure without a patient's permission resulting in injury.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a lawsuit will generally be filed against the physician and the hospital involved. The physician's malpractice insurance carrier will appoint an attorney to defend the case. Once the injured victim's injuries are fully known, an attorney will make a demand for settlement. If a settlement cannot be made, litigation will commence and the matter may go to trial or may be settled through arbitration.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a licensed attorney in your state before relying on any information found on this site. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel. Any results discussed on this website are illustrative. Results will vary by case and by many factors including the parties involved. Our disclosure of any past results should not create an unjustified expectation of the same results for your case.
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