Answers To Some Common Questions About Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania


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Before we get into some common questions surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits, let’s first define exactly what they are and what they cover.

According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, “medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.”

All medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania must have the following elements:

  1. The standard of care was violated. The patient has a right to expect a certain standard of care. If that standard was not provided, negligence could be potentially proven.
  2. The violation of the standard of care caused the injury. The injury must have been directly caused by this violation/negligence.
  3. The injury was significant. For instance, if there was a disability involved or a loss of income, or unusual pain or suffering.

What Are Some Examples Of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice can take many forms. However, here are some of the more common examples of medical negligence that might lead to a malpractice lawsuit:

  • Failure to diagnose properly
  • Providing a misdiagnosis
  • Misreading laboratory results
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Surgical errors
  • Improper medication or dosage instructions
  • Poor follow-up care
  • Premature discharge
  • Disregarding patient history
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Failure to recognize symptoms

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Medical Malpractice Claims in Pennsylvania?

The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for filing medical malpractice claims, in most instances, is two years from the date of the malpractice that resulted in the death or injury. However, there are situations, like those where a baby or child is injured, in which there may be a longer time frame. It’s important to see an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania to see if you can proceed with a claim. 

Will I Have To Go To Court?

It really depends. You’ll need to attend all your depositions, mediations, and the pretrial. But whether you go to court will depend on if your case gets settled before the trial begins. What’s the chance of it being settled? This also varies depending on the case.

Of course, if the case does settle, your obligations are over.

What Are Some Types Of Damages In Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

The term, damages, simply means money.

There are a few types of damages, including compensatory, non-economic, and punitive.

Compensatory damages pay for actual costs incurred due to medical malpractice, like medical bills, lost wages, etc.

Non-economic damages take care of compensating for less-tangible items like pain and suffering. And punitive damages are special compensatory awards for special circumstances, like if the defendant’s behavior was especially reprehensible.

How Long Will The Entire Process Take?

The answer to this question also greatly depends on several factors, and situations around medical malpractice claims tend to change quickly.

In general, you can expect to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-24 months on a medical malpractice lawsuit from start to finish if it isn’t settled out of court. It takes several months to gather medical records and obtain expert testimony. And, of course, time for depositions, filings, pretrial, etc.

As the plaintiff of a medical malpractice case, you would need to prove your case of medical negligence through evidence that shows that:

  • The defendant was negligent
  • The negligence was the cause of your injuries
  • You suffered damages as a result of the negligence

All three must be proven to win a Pennsylvania-based medical malpractice case. However, a case can settle at any moment, even as it’s leading up to trial, so giving a more definitive answer would be difficult.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Medical Malpractice?

If you suspect medical malpractice caused an injury to yourself or a loved one, it’s important to understand your rights and recourse options. While you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit, your time to file a claim is limited.

Medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania can be incredibly complex. You’ll want to make sure you select a medical malpractice attorney with the right combination of skills and experience.

How Should I Select A Medical Malpractice Attorney?

Any medical malpractice attorney you’re considering should have an experienced team of lawyers and doctors with a history of winning similar cases. Experience matters when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania, and we have decades of it. We have helped many families in Pennsylvania get the justice and compensation they deserve in all types of medical malpractice lawsuits. Let us help your family do the same.

The experienced attorneys at Ross Feller Casey have a stellar record of winning multimillion-dollar recoveries in all types of medical malpractice lawsuits. We have a team of Ivy League-trained physicians, and doctors who are also lawyers, on our staff and ready to help you.

Contact the leading medical malpractice lawyers at Ross Feller Casey in Philadelphia now for a free case evaluation. We handle medical malpractice cases on contingency, so you won’t pay until your case is won or settled. 

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.