Understanding Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical malpractice is the failure of a licensed health care professional to provide care for a patient in accordance with the usual professional standard care, skill or knowledge, resulting in and causing the patient's harm.

Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Unreasonably failing to diagnose a tumor while reading an X-ray
  • Unreasonably failing to order necessary and appropriate medical tests
  • Unreasonably failing to timely diagnose and treat a condition
  • Unreasonably failing to refer a case to a medical specialist
  • Prescription errors
  • Birth injuries resulting from unreasonable care
  • Traumatic brain injuries resulting from unreasonable care
  • An incorrect diagnosis that results in a failure to treat a medical condition
  • Unreasonably failing to properly administer or manage anesthesia
  • Emergency room negligence

How A Malpractice Case Proceeds

When a medical malpractice claim proceeds to a trial, the fact-finder, typically a jury, decides whether the health care provider, such as a doctor, hospital or other medical professional, was negligent, i.e. violated the standard of care, and whether that negligence caused the patient's harm. If the jury decides the medical professional was negligent and caused the patient's harm, then the jury determines the amount of monetary compensation to be paid by the at-fault healthcare provider to the victim. The trial judge instructs the jury concerning the elements of recoverable damages.

A resolution can be reached through a negotiated settlement instead of a jury verdict. Malpractice cases are complex and often aggressively defended. It is critical to enlist the services of a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney like James I. Devine in Norristown. He has more than three decades of experience with these cases, including 10 years defending doctors and other medical professionals.

A Hospital Can Be Named In A Malpractice Lawsuit

Hospitals can be liable for the negligence of their employees, including staff employee nurses and technicians, as well as for non-employees if the evidence proves that a reasonably prudent person in the patient's position would be justified in believing that the care provided by the non-employee was being rendered by the hospital or its agents, or was advertised or represented by the hospital as being provided by the hospital or its agents.

Aside from being responsible for their employees and agents, hospitals can be independently liable if they violate their own corporate responsibilities concerning patient care and safety.

Schedule A Free Consultation

To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer with more than 30 years of experience with medical malpractice cases, call the Law Office of James I. Devine in Norristown, Pennsylvania, at 610-292-9300 or use the online contact form.