Doctors are required to carry medical malpractice insurance. This type of insurance is used to financially protect the doctor in the event that there is a medical malpractice claim instituted against them. Carrying this type of insurance ensures that the doctor will not have to pay out of pocket if sued by a patient. Medical malpractice is a claim instigated by a patient against a health care professional for negligent conduct in rendering medical services that led to patient injury. This is a negligence suit that has to be proved by the patient bringing the claim that the doctor or medical staff providing care did not uphold their duties and acted with negligence.
Like many other states, Pennsylvania has medical malpractice guidelines and provisions as it relates to patients and doctors. With respect to doctors, the state tends to regulate the amount of liability insurance that a doctor must carry. Practicing physicians in Pennsylvania experienced high malpractice premiums throughout the state. What’s more, patients who engaged in these types of lawsuits would shop around the state to find a jury that would give generous malpractice awards.
Patients are no longer allowed to forum shop. These along with other changes were made in an attempt to lessen the financial burden on doctors within the sate. In addition to tightening the reins on where a particular malpractice case can be heard, the amount of money that doctors have to pay into the malpractice fund to cover medical expenses and the like is being reduced.
What Pennsylvania is doing to change the face of medical malpractice is not necessarily happening across the country. Many states are sticking with the status quo when it comes to a medical malpractice claim. This means that there are no specified rules or regulations as mentioned above regulating the costs and payouts of malpractice claims. Pennsylvania has taken affirmative steps in altering the way that medical malpractice claims are handled.
Knowing the ins and outs when dealing with medical malpractice claims is necessary and can prove beneficial. Those considering a medical malpractice suit should understand their rights and options so they can take the appropriate steps and measures to address their situation.
Source: NBC 10, “Medical Malpractice Insurance Costs Ease in Pennsylvania,” Taunya, English, Nov. 4, 2014