We trust doctors with our lives and bring our parents and children to them for care. There are few things more devastating than a breach of that trust. If you or a loved one have suffered harm after surgery, hospitalization, or medical treatment, a Montgomery County medical malpractice lawyer is ready to advocate for you and your family.
Malpractice can result in devastating harm or even death. If a medical mistake makes you sicker or puts a loved one at risk, you need support in figuring out the next steps. Our team of dedicated Montgomery COunty injury attorneys is familiar with the complex laws of medical malpractice.
Types of Medical Mistake Claims
There are many types of medical errors that might entitle an injured party to compensation. Serious mistakes can happen in many medical areas, such as:
Even the most experienced physicians can make a serious medical mistake, but not all adverse outcomes are considered malpractice. An attorney in Montgomery County who understands the impact of medical errors can assist in gathering the expert witnesses necessary to sustain a claim against a doctor, hospital, or provider.
How Long Does an Injured Patient Have to File a Civil Claim?
Medical malpractice falls under the legal umbrella of negligence, but in Pennsylvania, there are specific laws that apply only to claims of medical error. General negligence cases in Pennsylvania must be filed within two years of the injury. However, because it may take time for medical mistakes to become apparent, there is an exception to this statute of limitations for cases of medical malpractice. An individual has seven years from the date of the error to file a malpractice claim.
There are exceptions to this time limit under three circumstances. If the mistake resulted in death, the two- year limit applies. It may be years before a plaintiff discovers a foreign body left in them after surgery, and therefore the seven-year limit does not apply in that case. Additionally, if the error happened when the party was a child, they have seven years from their 20th birthday to bring a lawsuit. Lawyers in Montgomery County understand the prerequisites and filing deadlines in these medical malpractice actions.
Proving Medical Error Cases
Before an individual can file a lawsuit, they must submit a “certificate of merit” to the court. This certificate should state that an “appropriate licensed professional” has reviewed the claim and believes there is a reasonable likelihood that the provider’s conduct fell outside the scope of acceptable professional standards. Once filed, either before or within 60 days of filing the lawsuit, the case can proceed.
The plaintiff has the burden of proving what the accepted medical standard of care is and that the physician in question breached that duty, resulting in harm. Medical malpractice claims require expert testimony from professionals who can establish the specific duty of care and offer an opinion as to how the defendant doctor breached that standard. Since medical malpractice cases often involve grievous injuries or death, attorneys in Montgomery County must rely on the reports and testimony of experts to prove a case.
How a Montgomery County Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You
Filing a claim against a healthcare provider can be complicated. Our team of lawyers is ready to evaluate your case and offer guidance and support. A Montgomery County medical malpractice lawyer could find experts, gather evidence, and provide expertise in navigating this challenging scenario. Schedule your case consultation today.