How Common Is Medical Malpractice?

Different states have variable definitions of what they consider medical malpractice. In Pennsylvania, medical malpractice happens when a doctor or other medical professional is negligent. Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare practitioner breaches the standard of care, which is the generally accepted practice used by medical professionals in the same geographic area for patients suffering from a particular illness or disorder.

Believe it or not, according to the Medical Malpractice Center, there are between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors every year in the United States alone. Those numbers only cover the cases of medical malpractice where patients or their families took legal action against the doctors; they don’t account for the number of cases that went either unreported or were overlooked by the people involved. Medical malpractice can take many forms, including the following:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Negligence affecting pregnancy and childbirth
  • Mistakes in prescribing and administering medication
  • Hospital negligence
  • Surgical errors

In 2016, Johns Hopkins scientists suggested medical errors should rank as high as the third-leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. However, they were unclear exactly how many deaths were caused by malpractice.

If you’ve been injured by a medical professional in Pennsylvania, you will need to prove that the doctor’s breach of care directly led to your injury or illness in order to have a viable case. You must also file the suit within two years of the incident or discovery of the malpractice. For example, if you don’t find out about the malpractice until you see a different physician who points out the problem, you may still have time to file for damages, even if it is more than 2 years after the incident occurred.

Because of the deadlines placed on patients, it’s important to seek out the help of a skilled medical malpractice attorney in PA. The lawyers at Metzger Wickersham are familiar with cases involving personal injury caused by irresponsible or negligent doctors. We believe you deserve justice and compensation for any injuries resulting from a doctor’s breach of care. Our attorneys are backed by extensive resources and decades of collective legal experience. Let us take a look at your case and recommend the best course of legal action to take in your situation.

Call us at (888) 286-2850 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.