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An apology in Pennsylvania may thwart medical malpractice claims

People who enter any type of facility looking to obtain medical services are entitled to receive said services in a professional manner. Doctors, nurses and all other medical professionals are expected and legally required to provide individuals with the most appropriate care to address their medical needs. This standard of care is maintained in most cases but there are instances where the medical care is lacking and people are harmed as a result. In these situations, injured patients tend to file medical malpractice claims.

Those in the medical profession are required to get medical malpractice insurance because of the possibility of a lawsuit. To address instances of medical mistakes and medical professional negligence, the Pennsylvania General Assembly recently proposed a bill that would allow professionals in the health care arena to offer apologies to those wronged without fear of legal retribution. The belief behind the bill is that a simple gesture of an apology would go along way to address medical malpractice situations before any claim was filed.

Although the Pennsylvania legislature is working to pass this bill, people who have valid medical malpractice claims are still entitled to file the claim. In filing a claim, the individual filing has to show that the medical professional owed a duty to that individual, breached that duty, which in turn proximately caused the injury to, said individual.

Medical malpractice claims happen and are addressed by the courts as a negligence suit. As such, the burden of proof is on the one bringing the claim. Consulting with a medical malpractice professional experienced in these areas can help make the burden of proof less daunting for an injured party.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "'Benevolent gesture' bill clears Pa. Senate, moves to House for consideration," Jon Campisi, July 10, 2013

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