Physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners must exercise a duty of care to protect the health and wellness of their patients. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals take the necessary steps to prevent harm.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or suffered health problems because of doctor errors, speak with a Bala Cynwyd medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide guidance to help you understand what damages you could potentially collect, such as lost wages, ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, mental anguish, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and scarring.
Certificate of Merit from Healthcare Professional
To make a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, the plaintiff or their legal representative must file a certificate of merit signed by a competent, licensed medical professional. As per 231 Pennsylvania Code Section 1042.3, the medical professional must review the case and assert that the offending doctor’s actions “fell outside acceptable professional standards” to result in the patient’s injuries.
The certificate gets filed in conjunction with the official complaint, or within 60 days of filing the claim. While the medical professional who reviews the claim does not have to testify on behalf of the plaintiff in court, the person must have “sufficient education, training, knowledge and experience” to make statements about the case. Local attorneys well-practiced in medical error cases could reach out to such a professional on behalf of the injured patient.
Common Examples of Medical Errors
Hardworking lawyers in Bala Cynwyd could see a variety of medical negligence claims, including:
- Surgical errors
- Prescription medication errors
- Sepsis and other hospital-related infections
- Birth injuries
- Preventable amputations
- Preventable surgeries
- Failure to diagnose
To prove physician misconduct, the plaintiff and their attorney must show that the actions taken by the healthcare practitioner could have been avoided. The claimant and their legal team must also show that the offending physician’s actions directly resulted in injuries and provide enough evidence to convict the at-fault doctor. Medical reports, photos, and witness statements are among the most common types of evidence used in medical negligence cases.
Are There Damages Caps for Doctor Malpractice Cases in Bala Cynwyd?
States across the country do not place caps, or compensation limits, on economic damages such as past, current, and future medical expenses. However, numerous states put limits on non-economic damages such as mental anguish, loss of comfort, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is not among them.
While there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages, the state does place caps on punitive damages, or damages designed to penalize the defendant for their behavior and actions. Punitive damages cannot exceed twice the amount of the awarded damages in the malpractice case, and either the judge or the jury determines the punitive damages amount.
Pennsylvania also requires staggered damage payments if the “future damages” amount exceeds $100,000. Future damages refer to subsequent medical costs and lost wages.
Discuss your Case with a Bala Cynwyd Medical Malpractice Attorney
Pennsylvania gives plaintiffs two years from the date of the malpractice or the date they become aware of the injury to file claims. If medical injuries happen to children, the state allows them to file medical malpractice claims within seven years starting from their 20th birthdays.
Whether you or a loved one suffered from doctor negligence, now is the time to discuss your claim with a Bala Cynwyd medical malpractice lawyer. Contact our law firm today to speak with a dedicated attorney.