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 one is perfect. Therefore, in a doctor or surgeon can be held liable for negligence if their act or failure to act falls below the standard of care of a similar medical professional (i.e., what a similar medical professional would have done under the same circumstances).
The Standard of Care in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case
The standard of care applicable in a given case of medical malpractice will vary. That is because the standard of care depends on the type of doctor/surgeon at issue. For instance, the standard of care applicable to a family doctor will vary from the standard of care applicable to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon.
In addition, succeeding in a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania requires proving 1. the applicable standard of care and 2. the doctor/surgeon’s breach of the standard of care actually caused the injury. This will be accomplished by hiring an expert in the same field. That expert will eventually write a report and/or testify as to the applicable standard of care. He or she will also indicate whether the doctor/surgeon being sued in the case breached the standard and whether that breach resulted in the injury.
In Pennsylvania, bringing a medical malpractice case requires adherence to a very specific law – the 2002 MCARE Act (Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act). Under the MCARE Act, medical malpractice actions must comply with very strict requirements pertaining to proving the standard of care via an expert. Under Section 512 of the MCARE Act (pertaining to expert qualifications), if the doctor at issue is board certified, the expert must also be board certified in the same field. This requirement, however, may be waived in certain situations.
- Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases – Filing a Certificate of Merit
- Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations in Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Cases
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Medical Malpractice Law Firm
To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice and failure to diagnose lawyers, call 800.220.7600. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Our medical malpractice attorneys serve 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. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.