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Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Explained
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Some of the most common medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania involve hospital malpractice, stroke/heart attack misdiagnosis and cancer misdiagnosis. Patients and their families often have many questions about filing lawsuits, what’s involved and what they can expect.
In this article, our Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers discuss the basics of these lawsuits, including who the parties are, what’s involved in a case, where these cases get filed, when the cases have to filed by (time deadlines), and why these cases are important.
If you or a loved one would like to speak to our team of lawyers about a potential medical malpractice case, contact us or call (610) 825-0500 for a free consultation. Since 2016, we’ve been recognized as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report in the area of medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits – Who, What, Where, When, Why
Who are the parties?
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania is usually:
- the patient
- the patient’s family (patient is deceased)
- the patient’s estate (patient is deceased)
The defendant will vary, but may include:
- hospitals/medical centers
What can you expect?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complex types of lawsuits and will require a significant amount of pre-litigation or pre-lawsuit workup by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with a deep understanding of the medicine and medical treatment at issue in the case.
Pre-litigation workup includes reviewing 1000s of pages of medical records, identifying potential claims and then working with a medical expert. Pennsylvania law requires special certifications in medical malpractice cases which can only be obtained by consulting with a medical expert. Read more about medical experts in medical malpractice lawsuits.
After the lawsuit is filed, you can expect the following phases:
Discovery (Investigation) – The parties exchange information, documents, and evidence. The parties and key witnesses will give depositions, where they testify about the facts and issues in the case.
Resolution (Trial or Settlement) – The parties prepare their cases for trial. This includes preparing all witnesses, as well as medical experts, for trial. Depending on local court rules, the parties will usually attend at least one settlement conference. If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to trial.
Where are the cases filed?
While most of these cases are filed in Pennsylvania state courts, some cases may be filed in federal court, if the circumstances permit. Usually, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case will be filed in the county where the defendant resides or does business. In Pennsylvania, the following counties typically see the highest number of medical malpractice lawsuits: Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Luzerne and Lehigh.
When is the time deadline to file?
Generally, there’s a two year statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases. The two year clock may start ticking on the date of the incident (i.e., date of ER treatment, date of cancer misdiagnosis, etc.) or the date of the patient’s death, in some cases. In addition, Pennsylvania statute of limitations laws are subject to change. Courts routinely make major changes to existing laws. Speak to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to find out what the time deadline is in your case.
Why are these cases important?
By law, patients and in some cases, surviving family members of a deceased patient, are entitled to seek compensation to be made whole. Patients often suffer devastating, disabling injuries and symptoms as a result of medical negligence, which is conduct that falls short of the standards of care applicable to that area of medicine. Despite their complexity, medical malpractice cases are some of the most rewarding cases to pursue.
We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area
Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania
Chestnut Hill Hospital
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Roxborough Memorial Hospital
Temple University Hospital
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)
Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)
Springfield Hospital (Springfield)
Taylor Hospital (Ridley)
Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)
Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)
Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)
Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)
Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)
Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Shriner's Hospitals for Children
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