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Pennsylvania & New Jersey Medical Malpractice Law Library

Last updated: May 17, 2016

The following articles, frequently asked questions, blogposts and news articles are for information only. Prior to making any decisions about your case, it is vital to contact an experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer.


Medical Malpractice Law Articles

  • Hospital & Medical Negligence or Misdiagnosis as a Factor in Sepsis Infections (November 8, 2016) Medical or hospital negligence can lead to misdiagnosis of an infection. Sepsis is a emergency medical condition that can lead to death if not treated properly.
  • Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Malpractice Lawsuit Against Hospital Results in $12 Million Verdict (November 3, 2016) Last month, a Montgomery County, PA jury awarded $12 million to a woman who claimed she became brain damaged after a routine, minor surgery. This recent case is one of the largest verdicts in medical/hospital malpractice cases in Montgomery County which includes Norristown, Abington and Merion.
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Decreasing, But Deaths Due to Medical Errors Increasing (October 10, 2016) Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuits are decreasing, while deaths due to medical errors increasing. Get the latest info about medical malpractice lawsuit filings in Pennsylvania.
  • Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Pennsylvania – Decreasing in Number But Increasing in Verdict Amount (October 5, 2016) A look at data on medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania 2000-2015. Though there has been a decrease in the number of medical malpractice lawsuits overall, some counties have seen a sharp increase. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers weigh in.
  • Philadelphia Hospital Malpractice News, April 2016 – Million Dollar Verdicts (May 17, 2016) Juries in Philadelphia and Delaware counties have found in favor of patients in 2 medical malpractice cases involving the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Crozer Keystone. Get the latest medical malpractice lawsuit news here.
  • Pain & Suffering in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case (March 22, 2016) What is Pennsylvania medical malpractice law? Here’s a look at pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits in PA. What financial compensation is available for pain and suffering?
  • PA Medical Malpractice News: Delaware County Jury Awards $12+ Million to Paralyzed Man (August 19, 2015) One of the Largest Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Verdicts in Delco Earlier this month, a Delaware County (Delco) jury awarded over $12 million to a paralyzed man and his wife in a medical/hospital malpractice case. The case involved complex claims of treatment at one of the largest hospitals in Delaware County, Delaware County Memorial Hospital. The plaintiffs ...
  • Hospital Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Philadelphia – Law Update (May 14, 2015) Under Pennsylvania medical malpractice law, hospitals in Philadelphia can be held liable when employees such as doctors, surgeons, nurses, etc., are negligent when providing medical care to a patient. This applies to emergency room care, surgical procedures, etc. In general, PA law recognizes claims against hospitals in medical malpractice cases: vicarious liability and corporate negligence. Last ...
  • Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, April 2015 Update: Jury Verdicts (April 20, 2015) Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuits, April 2015 update: Recent multi-million dollar jury verdicts in favor of patients.
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice – What to Do if You Suspect Medical Negligence (February 25, 2015) What should you do if you suspect your doctor was negligent? Because of the high costs involved in pursuing medical mistake cases in PA, you must speak to a lawyer to get a free case review.
  • Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Cases – Was the Doctor Negligent? (February 23, 2015) Medical malpractice law in Philadelphia cases: was the doctor negligent? Our Phila, PA medical malpractice lawyer takes you through the analysis and what’s involved.
  • Pennsylvania Medical, Surgical Malpractice Law – What is financial compensation? (August 25, 2014) Patients who have suffered due to the negligence of a medical professional may be able to obtain reasonable financial compensation for their injuries. Doing so will require filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Pennsylvania court system. However, it is important to conduct an initial analysis of cost-effectiveness, i.e., whether the injuries and damages resulting from ...
  • Pennsylvania Cancer Misdiagnosis Law – Can you file a lawsuit? (July 20, 2014) Individuals or patients who have suffered as a result of misdiagnosis of cancer are often left in the dark about their legal rights. Many want to know whether a doctor or hospital in Pennsylvania can be held liable for misdiagnosing cancer. The answer is yes. Under the laws of Pennsylvania, any medical professional or provider ...
  • Misdiagnosis of Cancer – Lab Test Mistakes (May 27, 2014) Hospitals, doctors and surgeons rely on labs every single day. Labs perform critical functions, such as testing tissue for cancerous cells (biopsy) or analyzing blood for infection. However, lab mistakes can and do occur, and oftentimes, the results are catastrophic. A patient may be misdiagnosed with cancer (false positive), or their cancer can go undiagnosed ...
  • Medical Malpractice – Errors in Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis (April 24, 2014) According to an April 2014 study published in the BMJ: Quality & Safety, The frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from three large observational studies involving US adult populations, medical errors in diagnosis occur at the rate of 5%, or 1 out of every 20 medical diagnoses will involve an error. According to ...
  • Surgical Mistakes Often Cause Serious Injury, by a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer (March 20, 2014) Surgical malpractice/mistake cases are very complex, due in part to the complexity of the practice of medicine which includes: medical devices, medications, procedures, and diagnostic testing procedures, etc.  If not deadly, surgical mistakes often lead to serious complications like infections. In surgical mistake lawsuits, hospitals and doctors may be held liable for causing injuries. Related: Pennsylvania ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law Update (Feb. 2014) – A Doctor’s Admission of Fault (February 11, 2014) Doctors Can Admit Mistakes Without Fear Their Statements are Admissible in Court A new law, “The Benevolent Gesture Medical Professional Liability Act,” went into effect on December 25, 2013. Under this law, doctors and other medical health professionals can apologize for making mistakes without fear that such statements will be used against them to prove negligence ...
  • Brian Kent Settles 2 Philadelphia Accident & Injury Cases: Multi-Million Dollar Settlements for 2 Clients (January 22, 2014) For immediate release, January 27, 2014 Philadelphia Brian Kent of the Philadelphia accident and injury law firm, Laffey, Bucci & Kent, settled two high profile cases this month; one for $3,000,000 and the other for $1,000,000. $3 Million Settlement in a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Case – Post-Op Infection Leading to Serious Complications The first case involved surgery at a ...
  • Hospital Discharge Medication Mistakes, Common and Hard to Resolve (January 21, 2014) Patients discharged from hospital stays are at risk of being readmitted. This is such a widespread problem that last year, the federal government instituted payment reductions and penalties against hospitals with high readmission rates of Medicare patients who were initially hospitalized for pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure. One potential reason for high hospital readmission rates ...
  • Hospital Negligence & Malpractice – Common Types of Hospital Mistakes (January 2, 2014) Hospitals are a big business these days. Nonprofit or not-for-profit hospitals simply do not exist the way they did 50 years ago. The hospital industry is a huge, for-profit industry, and many hospitals are owned, operated and run by large hospital operating companies. For example, one of the largest hospital operating companies in the U.S. ...
  • Hospital/Doctor Medication & Drug Mistakes in Pennsylvania (December 12, 2013) Medication or drug mistakes occur with alarming frequency. Several years ago, actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twin boys faced a serious medical emergency when they were given an adult dose of the blood thinner, heparin. The error occurred due to a mix up. The adult dose had a dark cap whereas the infant dose had a ...
  • Defective Medical Product Injury Claims – Design Defects and Manufacturing Defects Explained (October 7, 2013) We live in a world of faulty products. It is a harsh reality, but one which patients who have suffered due to a defective medical product are very well aware of. Just last year, a multi-state fungal meningitis infection resulted in over 60 deaths. The problem stemmed from contaminated steroid injection products. Twenty states were ...
  • Statute of Limitations in a PA Failure to Diagnosis Malpractice Case – A Hypothetical Case Analysis (October 7, 2013) Statute of limitations issues are very common in medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania. It is pretty common for a patient who suspects that malpractice has been committed to avoid doing anything about it. Sadly, it is a normal human reaction to avoid confrontation, even when your health is on the line. In addition, patients want ...
  • FDA Issues New Rules for Unique ID of Medical Devices and Implants (October 2, 2013) Use of medical devices and implants has skyrocketed over the last two decades. Pacemakers, artificial hips and knees are used widely. With increase in use comes issues such as defective products which cause premature failure and additional medical treatment including surgeries and rehabilitation. Historically, identifying patients with a recalled or defective medical devices/implants was difficult. In ...
  • Surgical Errors & Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania (July 9, 2013) When Does a Surgical Mistake Constitute Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania? Surgical mistakes do not always constitute actionable medical malpractice in Pennsylvania. Surgeons, like everyone else, are allowed to make mistakes. The most important question in determining whether surgical error or mistake is actionable under Pennsylvania medical malpractice law is what a similarly situated surgeon would have ...
  • Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis Case in Pennsylvania (May 27, 2013) Many patients who have experienced medical malpractice do not confirm that their doctor committed negligence until it is too late to do anything about it. In Pennsylvania, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the date of the injury during which they must file a legal claim. There is a major exception to this two ...
  • Medical Malpractice Explained – Hidden Negligence (April 6, 2013) Medical Malpractice Claims in Pennsylvania – Hidden Negligence The hospital industry is not what it used to be. Many hospitals are corporate institutions with a single purpose – profits. The last 5 years have seen a steady increase in the average salary of a hospital CEO, which is now over $300,000 per year. Net hospital revenues ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Claims Against Doctors and Surgeons – The Standard of Care (April 2, 2013) Everyone in every type of profession makes mistakes, and doctors and surgeons are no exception. Under the medical malpractice laws of Pennsylvania, if a doctor or surgeon makes an error which causes harm, he or she may be liable to the patient. However, doctors and surgeons are allowed to make mistakes. The law recognizes that no ...
  • Doctor Liability for Negligence in Prescribing Medicine in Pennsylvania (February 25, 2013) As prescription medication use has increased over the last decade, accidents caused by intoxication have also increased. In fact, over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of people driving under the influence of prescription medications, or what is called “drugged driving.” (Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving) In Pennsylvania, doctors and other medical professionals ...
  • Pennsylvania Doctor Liability for Injury Caused by Patient to a Third Party (February 25, 2013) Doctors can be held liable in circumstances when a patient causes injury to other individuals. Not all states allow for this kind of liability. Pennsylvania, however, does. In Pennsylvania, medical professionals like doctors and psychiatrists can be held liable for negligence in treatment of a patient which leads to injury to others. The seminal case is ...
  • Surgical Errors – Foreign Objects, Wrong Body Parts and Wrong Procedures (January 17, 2013) Sometimes, bad things happen in a hospital setting. Certain things are inevitable. For instance, post-surgical infection is a generally accepted risk. However, certain medical errors are 100% preventable, such as foreign objects left in a patient or operating on the wrong body part. Last month, medical researchers at Johns Hopkins revealed results of analysis of medical ...
  • Grapefruit & Drug/Medication Interactions (January 16, 2013) Grapefruit is known to affect the body’s absorption of certain drugs or medications. Even a small amount such as a glass of grapefruit juice, taken once a day for a few days, can cause a significant medication reaction. This occurs because compounds found in grapefruit can interfere with liver and intestinal enzymes. Under normal circumstances, a ...
  • Philadelphia Hospital Safety Scores and Medical Malpractice (December 8, 2012) Patient safety is crucial. According to Leapfrog Group, nearly 200,000 people die each year from hospital accidents, mistakes and infections. Leapfrog Group is a national not-for-profit group which tackles the problem of patient safety in the U.S. The organization’s sole focus is healthcare quality and is comprised of private healthcare experts as well as employers ...
  • Res Ipsa Loquitur in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case Involving a Broken Catheter (October 25, 2012) The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is pretty rare. In Latin, it means, “the thing speaks for itself.” In other words, the  negligence is obvious. In medical malpractice cases, one of the only times a patient could potentially use this theory is when a surgical instrument is left inside the body. However, in a recent ...
  • Proving Medical Malpractice in a Case Involving a Medical Device in Pennsylvania (October 25, 2012) Use of medical devices in surgeries is on the rise. However, pace makers, stents, and surgical devices such as pins and screws are all subject to various issues including negligent placement, negligent removal, and defective design or manufacture. Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania which involves a medical device like a broken screw ...
  • Pain and Suffering in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case (September 18, 2012) Medical malpractice or negligence commonly leads to adverse results. For example, failure to diagnose a disease usually results in death or worsened outcome. At the very least, the delay in diagnosis usually results in additional, prolonged treatment.  A common example occurs where a simple dose of antibiotics could have killed off a bacterial infection, yet ...
  • Statute of Limitations in a Surgical Malpractice Case in Pennsylvania (August 23, 2012) Surgical malpractice can result in severe injury, or in extreme cases, death. However, many patients who suffer surgical malpractice are unable to immediately uncover the malpractice, except in the most obvious cases. Instead, patients may suffer for years before finally getting a confirmation that the original surgeon committed an error. Why Surgical Malpractice Cases Often Go ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Medical Devices (August 14, 2012) Increases in technology mean increases in the use of medical devices. However, an increase in use of medical devices also translates into an increase in the number of cases involving negligence in the use, implantation or removal of such devices. In addition to negligence claims against a doctor, surgeon or hospital, there may be a ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law – The Discovery Rule & The Statute of Limitations (July 4, 2012) Last updated: November 18, 2015 | Published: July 4, 2012 The statute of limitations is one of the most important issues in any medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania. This is because many cases of medical negligence are not recognized, let alone filed, within the usual 2 year statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases, the ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law – The Certificate of Merit Requirement (May 31, 2012) Last updated: November 18, 2015 | Published: May 30, 2012 In 2003, Pennsylvania medical malpractice law was changed in a significant way. In response to lobbying efforts of various medical professional groups and the insurance industry, the Pennsylvania legislature joined a number of states which require what is known as an “affidavit of merit” or “certificate ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law – The Statute of Limitations in Surgical Error Cases (May 29, 2012) Last updated: October 20, 2015 | Originally published: May 28, 2012 How the Statute of Limitations Law Works in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases (Is it Too Late to File a Surgical Mistake Case?) In general, under Pennsylvania law, all cases must be brought within a specific time period set by statute; hence the name, statute of limitations. ...
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice – Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Cases (April 16, 2012) What is the Statute of Limitations in Misdiagnosis Cases? Last updated: November 18, 2015 | Published: April 16, 2012 Under Pennsylvania medical malpractice law, the statute of limitations to file a claim for medical malpractice is two years from the date of the injury. For example, a surgeon makes a mistake during an abdominal surgery. In general, ...

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice (Surgical Error) Cases

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law – The Statute of Limitations in Surgical Error Cases (Published: May 29th, 2012; updated: October 20, 2015) Is it too late to file a surgical error case against a hospital or doctor? Statute of limitations laws act like legal stop watches. In order to be allowed to maintain a medical negligence lawsuit, the case must be filed within the applicable statutory period. However, there are some, albeit limited, exceptions.

Legal Update: Hospital Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(May 14, 2015) Under Pennsylvania law, can Philadelphia hospitals be sued when a doctor or surgeon makes a medical mistake? Medical malpractice lawsuits against hospitals in the greater Philadelphia area are actually quite common. Hospitals, emergency rooms and medical facilities can be held liable for mistakes/negligence by doctors, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists, nurses, etc.

Suspect Medical Malpractice? What Should You Do?

(Feb. 25, 2015) Patients naturally believe that their medical providers always provide the best care possible. Oftentimes, patients may suspect negligence or medical malpractice, only to be reassured that everything is ok. Then, the patient may take a turn for the worse. Then what? The reality is that getting to the bottom of a patient’s suspicion of medical malpractice almost always requires consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.

How to Determine if Your Doctor was Negligent (PA Medical Malpractice Cases)

(Feb. 23, 2015) Was your doctor in Pennsylvania negligent? It isn’t easy to figure out whether a doctor in PA made a mistake. Patients often report vague responses to questions and confusing answers from doctors suspected of medical mistakes.

More Medical Malpractice Law Articles

  • Pennsylvania Medical, Surgical Malpractice Law – What is financial compensation? (August 25, 2014) Financial compensation is one of the most critical aspects of a medical mistake case. Oftentimes, cases fail to settle due to a fundamental disagreement over the amount of compensation a patient should be paid. Learn about what claims are allowed and how you prove them.
  • Pennsylvania Cancer Misdiagnosis Law – Can You File a lawsuit? (July 20, 2014) Cancer misdiagnosis cases are some of the most complex medical malpractice cases. These cases often boil down to a single issue: did the delay in diagnosis make a difference in the medical outcome?
  • Surgical Mistakes Often Cause Serious Injury, by a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer (March 20, 2014) In addition to misdiagnosis cases, surgical malpractice/mistake cases are very complex. There are many steps involved in surgical procedures such as use of medical devices and diagnostic testing procedures (x-rays, CT scans, etc.).  Surgical mistakes can occur due to failure to use a medical device correctly or negligence when interpreting a diagnostic test result.
  • Hospital Negligence & Malpractice – Common Types of Hospital Mistakes (January 2, 2014) Hospitals make big money these days; that’s because many hospitals are run by large multi-state hospital operating companies. Some companies own and operate dozens of hospitals at a time. This results in a situation in which hospitals are operated like any other business, where bottom-line profits matter most. Learn about the most common types of hospital mistakes which cause injury.
  • Defective Medical Product Injury Claims – Design Defects and Manufacturing Defects Explained (October 7, 2013) Medical malpractice cases such as surgical malpractice cases often result in secondary claims involving defective medical devices or what is known as product injury claims. Oftentimes, a medical device may break or malfunction, i.e., a hip replacement or knee replacement device may fail. Is the doctor liable, or is the device manufacturer liable?
  • Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Claims Against Doctors and Surgeons – The Standard of Care (April 2, 2013) What is the standard of care applied in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania? Doctors, surgeons and other medical providers are generally held to the standard of similarly situated medical providers. In order to be found negligent, a medical professional’s conduct must have fallen below the standard of conduct of a similar professional under the same set of circumstances.
  • Surgical Errors – Foreign Objects, Wrong Body Parts and Wrong Procedures (January 17, 2013) Surgical error cases often involve a foreign object, operation on the wrong body part or performance of the wrong procedure. These kinds of cases often occur due to dated or insufficient hospital procedures. Can hospitals be held liable?
  • Pain and Suffering in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case (September 18, 2012) How is pain and suffering determined in medical malpractice lawsuits? Pain and suffering is defined as the physical pain and emotional trauma which result from another person’s act of negligence. In medical malpractice cases, pain and suffering is often quite significant. Invasive surgeries, prolonged medical treatment, and the death of a loved one cause extreme pain and suffering.

Medical Malpractice Law FAQs

Is the Philadelphia Hospital Liable for Medication Errors?

Bringing a successful medical malpractice case against a hospital in Philadelphia requires very careful consideration of the facts and circumstances. In a case where a spouse suspects that their loved one was given the wrong medication at a hospital, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer immediately. There must be sufficient evidence that a medication mistake was made and that it caused an adverse reaction. Even though medication errors in hospital settings are common, these cases often boil down to evidence.

Do You Have Rights For a Defective Medical Implant?

Medical devices and implants such as screws, plates and even full joint replacements are subject to failure. Oftentimes, when a medical device fails or breaks, the patient may not realize that they have a potential claim against the medical device/implant manufacturer. However, medical device failures often occur due to defective manufacturing or defective design.

How Much Time Do You Have to Sue a Doctor for Negligent Surgery?

Statute of limitations laws vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, a general 2 year statute of limitations applies in negligent surgery cases, i.e., two years from the date the negligent conduct occurred. However, there may be exceptions to the 2 year rule. In some instances, a patient is unable to uncover the negligent conduct within the 2 year time period. If there was a good reason, the 2 year limit may be tolled.


Medical Malpractice Law Latest News

Delaware County, PA Jury Awards $12 Million in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit (Aug. 2015)

This summer, a Delaware County, PA jury found in favor of a seriously injured plaintiff in what is one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Delco history. The case involved claims of negligence against Delaware County Memorial Hospital. The plaintiff claimed he became paralyzed as a result of negligent care.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured due to the negligence of a doctor, surgeon or hospital in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or New York, contact our experienced, highly rated medical malpractice lawyers for a free, confidential consultation. 215.399.9255/800.220.7600

Our medical malpractice attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. They also work with lawyers nationwide and can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.