Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Laws – Everything You Need to Know

Medical Malpractice

When you are sick, injured, or responsible for the care of a loved one, you will look for a medical professional who can provide the proper level of care. Once you’ve made that choice, the medical professionals often pledge to deliver the “highest level of care.”

That’s exactly what you expect, and that’s exactly what you deserve. Receiving less-than-best medical care can lead to poor outcomes. But any complication, injury, or death that occurred while in the care of a medical professional doesn’t necessarily qualify for a medical malpractice case without the proper proof to back it up. 

There are avenues you can take with a medical malpractice attorney. In hiring the right attorney with solid experience, an investigation can bring answers to questions you may have, like if you have a case at all, or how to proceed if you can file a legal claim. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is care that falls below a certain standard that causes harm that otherwise would not have occurred. 

When you enlist the legal assistance of a medical malpractice attorney, it becomes their job to prove that your doctor deviated from the professional and standard level of care that you or your loved one as a patient deserve and trust that you will receive. 

Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania

Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania is defined as the negligent or unskilled treatment by a healthcare professional that strays from the accepted or standard level of medical care. 

In Pennsylvania, medical malpractice is not confined to doctors and nurses but can be extended to include physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare providers as well. 

Three basic elements are required in a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case:

  1. A professional duty was owed, meaning that the medical professional provided you with professional care
  2. That duty was breached by the medical professional responsible for your care
  3. The injury was a result of the breach of the standard level of care

Duty of Care

While under the care of a medical professional, you expect the standard level of medical care prescribed, meaning that you’re not getting slighted out of the duty of care that a medical professional should know to give. They have the knowledge, tools, and capability to provide professional medical care in a manner that is not harmful to the patient. 

Breach of Duty of Care

Once the duty of care has been defined, your medical malpractice attorney must be able to prove that there was a breach in the duty of care by a medical professional.  According to Pennsylvania law, the duty of medical care involves the skill, knowledge, and procedures that are normally used in medical care. 

While this may vary depending on the area of the medical community being questioned (pharmacist, doctor, dentist, etc.), you must demonstrate that a breach in the duty of care caused harm,, and didn’t represent the standard level of care. The point of deviation from the standard level of care must be illustrated in the medical malpractice claim. 

Result of Breach in Duty of Care

When the duty of care is breached, the end result must reflect that it was at the fault of the medical professional in charge of your care. 

Your medical malpractice attorney must be prepared to not only define the standard duty of care and thoroughly explain at what point the breach occurred, but the attorney must also provide evidence of the causation of injury or harm. If the medical professional’s actions were a direct cause of the injury, there must be substantial evidence to back those claims. 

In Pennsylvania, those filing a medical malpractice claim may also establish causation under the “increased risk of harm” theory, meaning that you (or your loved one) as a patient were put at increased risk of injury or harm based on the actions of the medical professional. 

Statute of Limitations 

Each state may have its own laws when it comes to the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim, meaning there is a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. 

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date the malpractice occurred, or possibly two years froom the date it was discovered, depending on the circumstances. There are exceptions to this law, including being a minor. Medical malpractice involving a minor runs on a statute of limitations once they reach the age of 18. 

Choose Zajac & Padilla, LLC for Experienced Representation 

Are you looking for the best representation for your medical malpractice claim?

At Zajac & Padilla, LLC., we specialize in litigating complex cases with dedication and integrity, fighting for our clients as we guide them through every aspect of their case with warmth and compassion. While every case is different and must be determined on its own facts, we have achieved medical malpractice settlements and verdicts of $4.2 million, $3.05 million, $3.0 million, $1.7 million, and others. With more than 30 years of actual courtroom experience, we will work with you directly to resolve your case with the representation you can trust to get the results you need.

We offer legal representation in cases from consumer class action lawsuits to automobile accidents and provide services for English, Spanish, and Portuguese-speaking clients as well.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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