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Medical malpractice: How it applies to claims in Pennsylvania

Doctors are people who have the medical knowledge to heal, alleviate or prevent injury. Most doctors utilize their abilities to help people every day. However, sometimes the decisions of medical professionals cause more harm than good. These incidents can cause injuries that may be compensated for under medical malpractice laws.

Medical malpractice is a term used to describe personal injury that is directly caused by the decision of a medical professional. There are three elements that must be proved in order to be compensated from a medical malpractice suit. There must be duty to be owed to the patient by the doctor, this duty was breached and the breach of that duty results in damages proximately caused by that breach. Proximate is a term that is used to describe that "but for" the negligence of the medical professional, the harm to the patient would have occurred.

Some states limit the damages a patient may collect from the injuries related to a medical malpractice suit under their tort law regulations. This limitation is not applied under tort law in Pennsylvania. However, all states, including Pennsylvania, have a statute of limitations of two years from the time an injury is sustained due to medical malpractice. This means a lawsuit claiming medical malpractice must be filed within two years from the incident or the claim is no longer admissible in court.

Injuries sustained from a medical professional's error can be a serious or life threatening event. It can rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills due to the negligence of the medical professional. If a person has been injured due to medical malpractice, the injured may be able to claim reparations for the damages related to the incident. It is important to examine all the details and how the law applies to the specifics of each medical malpractice case.

Source: FindLaw, "Medical Malpractice Overview," accessed on Sept. 3, 2014

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