The changing world of medical malpractice in Pennsylvania
Medical malpractice can come in many forms. Wrong or missed diagnoses, improper surgical procedures or medication errors are just some of the more common examples that cause serious injuries or even death to victims in Pennsylvania. Resulting complications can often be life-altering such as with a traumatic brain injury. People who have suffered such an injury may never be the same and the need for long-term care can become a new reality for families.
The ability to file claims and litigation is provided for by the law but can be complicated. The laws governing medical malpractice lawsuits have changed over the years and some of the changes may have contributed to a lowered number of malpractice cases in the state of Pennsylvania. In prior years, a case involving a negligent physician or other medical error could be filed in any county. Today, it must be filed in the county in which the injury took place.
Another change is the new requirement for documentation and certification of medical experts by the plaintiff’s team. Statistics from the state court administrative offices indicate that Philadelphia alone has seen a 68 percent decrease in the number of lawsuits filed since the 2000 to 2002 time period. Statewide, the drop averages around 43 percent. Additionally, more than three-fourths of all cases in the state were resolved in favor of the defendant in2013.
The challenges do not have to prevent victims or their family members from pursuing justice when problems occur, however. Scheduling consultations with a malpractice attorney is something that people may wish to do to learn their options in the aftermath of tragedies.
Source: WeAreCentralPA.com, “Pa. Medical Malpractice Cases Drop Significantly,” June 23, 2014