Not many people consider the idea of medical mistakes until they are about to undergo some sort of medical procedure. However, medical errors have been found to be one of the leading causes of death within the nation, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. There are various medical mishaps that can result in a medical malpractice incident in Pennsylvania, including:
- Failure to diagnose
- Mistakes in the administration of anesthesia
- Birth injury
What is medical malpractice
Within laws in Pennsylvania, medical malpractice is defined when a medical professional, such as a doctor, surgeon, or nurse, acts in a way that falls below an acceptable level of care for the patient, a mistake that occurs in violation or breach of the standard of care by a medical professional.
The standard of care is the concept of maintaining the level of care that would be practiced by other healthcare professionals in the same field, treating patients experiencing a particular illness or disorder. Due to several factors, such as age and medical history of the patient, the standard may change.
A medical malpractice lawsuit must also indicate a direct result between the medical mistake of a negligent medical professional and a patient’s injuries. This means that the occurrence of medical negligence is not enough for a lawsuit to be successful. There needs to be a direct correlation between the medical mistake and the injury.
Is there a statute of limitations for medical malpractice?
Each state regulates its own statute of limitations involving cases of medical malpractice, which would set the restriction of time a patient has to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent healthcare provider.
Within Pennsylvania law, two years is the set statute of limitations for medical malpractice. However, this two-year limitation does not begin until the time when the patient reasonably should have discovered the injury. The discovery rule can increase the duration of time in which a claim can be filed in cases of medical malpractice or negligence, depending on the amount of time that has passed. This rule applies when an individual is unable to discover, regardless of reasonable diligence, that their injury has been caused by a negligent health care provider or that they are injured.
With cases occurring after March 2002, there is a separate statute that also is applicable. The stature allows injured patients a maximum of seven years from the date in which the negligent medical mistake occurred. This would mean that an injured patient will not be able to file a lawsuit against the healthcare provider if the patient discovered the injury more than seven years after the negligent act occurred.
If a minor is injured due to medical malpractice, the statute of limitations of two-years does not begin until the child reaches the age of 18. This would allow a claim for damages related to a malpractice injury of a minor to be filed any time before the person reaches 20 years of age.
Let Us Work on Your Case | Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices
Seek legal assistance today if you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the negligent actions of a medical provider. At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys are prepared to investigate every aspect of your case to find what happened so we can secure the compensation you are entitled to, which may include:
- Coverage of any medical expenses caused by the malpractice
- Compensation for lost income or benefits from an inability to work
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages possibly against the negligent medical provider
When you need a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation or calling (215) 228-0100.