Serving The Injured In New York And Pennsylvania

Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Firm News

When you or a family member experiences medical negligence, you want to know whether you can file a medical malpractice claim. These claims are available when a healthcare provider fails to meet the required standard of care, and that failure results in harm to their patient.

Statute of limitations

First, as with most other states, our state has a statute of limitations that limits the timeframe when you can file your medical malpractice claim. In other words, you have a deadline, and if you miss it, you could lose your right to sue that negligent medical provider. Here, the SOL is generally two years from the date of the medical error.

Discovery rule

As with everything in the law, there is an exception. And, for the SOL, there is the discovery rule. This rule pauses the SOL if you did not know or could not reasonably know about the medical error. In these cases, the two-year SOL does not begin until you discover the error or should have discovered the error.

To be clear, using the discovery rule puts the burden on you. You must prove both that you did not discover the medical error and could have discovered the error any sooner than when you allege.

Certificate of merit

Pennsylvania also has a certificate of merit requirement for medical malpractice claims. A COM must be filed with your medical malpractice complaint initially or within 60 days of the initial complaint. The COM must include several pieces of information.

It must include information from an appropriate licensed medical professional who reviewed your medical file, and that professional must write a statement that the duty of care was violated and that the care you received was outside acceptable professional medical standards.

The statement must also state that those non-compliant medical practices caused your injury.

Alternatively, if the claims are simply that the doctor deviated from an acceptable professional standard, language to that effect from an appropriate licensed medical professional is required. Or, if somehow expert testimony is not required, that information must be included as well.