An act of medical malpractice can be defined roughly as an injurious mistake made by a medical professional while treating a patient. Usually someone filing a medical malpractice claim is doing so because a medical mistake was made which caused them to suffer some type of injury; an injury that would have not happened but for the mistake made by the medical professional. Filing a malpractice claim is how the injured patient attempts to hold doctors, nurses, and all other providing medical care responsible for their actions. Some believe that without this type of malpractice claim, there would be no checks and balances in the medical profession.
Just because one can file a claim in court based in medical malpractice doesn’t mean that the claim should be filed maliciously or without cause. There has to be a basis for a medical malpractice suit and the person bringing the suit has to be able to prove it on the merits. Basically, a medical malpractice case is a negligence case and in negligence there are four elements that have to be proven in accordance with the applicable legal standard. The elements are duty, breach of duty, proximate cause and damages. Each of these has to be proved by the party bringing the claim.
In Pennsylvania, a state formerly known for having a rather high number of malpractice filings, there has actually been a decrease in the number of filings. This can be attributed to a couple of different factors one being that the law has been changed which only allows individuals for file for medical malpractice in the county where the allegedly negligent acts occurred. In addition to this new provision in the law, arguably Pennsylvania is taking a harsher look at the kinds of claims that are filed and ruling some out in the early stages of the process.
Every state handles medical malpractice processes and procedures differently. Even though the courts of the Keystone State may be taking a hard line toward frivolous malpractice claims, people who have lost much due to a medical professional’s mistake should still investigate their options and exercise their right to seek compensation if appropriate.