5 Questions About Medical Malpractice in PA
medical malpractice in pennsylvania

5 Questions About Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

At Scartelli Olszewski P.C., we often find ourselves fielding questions from people who are angry or frustrated with their doctors. They want to know whether our Scranton and Wilkes-Barre medical malpractice attorneys can help them seek justice for what they think is medical malpractice. The answer is not always simple, however.

Many misunderstandings persist about what actually constitutes a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania. It’s not as simple as a doctor failing to fix an injury or save someone’s life. Sometimes a doctor is ill-equipped or simply unable to save someone’s life. There are certain factors that attorneys and investigators need to consider for there to be medical malpractice involved. The medical malpractice attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. can explain.

What constitutes medical malpractice in Pennsylvania?

Your unhappiness with the way your doctor has handled your treatment or a loved one’s treatment does not mean that the doctor has committed medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider – such as a physician, physician assistant (PA), nurse, medical technician, or other medical professional – deviates from the accepted Standard of Care and harms a patient.

In general, the patient and their attorneys must prove two things through expert witnesses:

  • The healthcare provider was either negligent or incompetent in the performance of their duties.
  • The negligence or incompetence caused an injury to the patient. Examples include death, chronic pain, or loss of wages.

What are some examples of injuries people sue for?

When someone dies as a result of medical malpractice, a wrongful death, and/or survival action is filed.

Examples of serious, life-changing injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy in a newborn caused by a mismanaged birth
  • A delayed diagnosis of cancer
  • A brain injury sustained during a surgical procedure
  • The amputation of an arm or a leg due to mismanaged treatment of an infection

For an in-depth look at the most common injuries sustained as a result of medical negligence or incompetence, reference this resource on our website.

What if the victim of medical malpractice is a minor?

When a child under the age of 18 is injured by medical malpractice, the parent or guardian of the minor may file the lawsuit on their behalf. If no lawsuit is filed by the parent on behalf of the child, the child has 2 years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

In general, Pennsylvania medical malpractice law sets out a statute of limitations of two years. That means you have up to two years from the date of the alleged medical malpractice incident, or from the date you learned of the incident to file a lawsuit.

Of course, it is not always possible to easily attach a precise date to the moment that a healthcare professional made a particular mistake. Medical malpractice can take place over many months, spanning numerous interactions between a patient and their healthcare providers.

Who Should You Contact for Help?

Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.’s experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys conduct thorough investigations. We can determine if the case has merit and aggressively pursue medical malpractice cases in order to help our clients seek the justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one believe you have suffered a serious injury due to medical malpractice, please call our office at 877-353-0529 or contact us online as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case. If your claim has merit, we can help you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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