Allentown Medical Malpractice Lawyer
We trust our doctors and other health care providers to help us. And while most medical professionals do provide a high quality of care, there will always be situations where a mistake or error in judgment causes the patient additional harm. When this happens, the victim has the legal right to seek compensation for their injuries.
An experienced Allentown medical malpractice lawyer can assist you if you have been injured due to below-standard medical care. At the O’Donnell Law Offices, we represent clients who have been seriously injured by the very professionals charged with making them better. We understand that pursuing a medical malpractice claim is difficult, which is why he promises to provide compassionate, skilled legal advice to you through this process.
Pennsylvania Has Special Rules for Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania are subject to a number of rules. The first rule you need to know about is the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, there is a two-year deadline to bring a lawsuit based on alleged medical negligence by a health care provider.
When this two-year clock starts to run will depend on the nature of the case. By default, the rule is that you need to file within two years of when the doctor committed the malpractice–i.e., when the medical error occurred. But in many cases, a patient will not know anything is wrong right away. A medical mistake may not manifest itself for months, or in some cases years, after the fact.
For this reason, the two-year limitations period can be “tolled,” which basically means the clock will not start to run until you actually learn about the malpractice–or when you should have reasonably discovered it through due diligence. Pennsylvania previously imposed an additional statute of repose, which barred any malpractice claims brought more than seven years after the original error occurred, but the state Supreme Court declared that rule unconstitutional in 2019. So even if your malpractice occurred many years ago, you may still be able to take legal action against the negligent provider.
Another special rule that governs medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania is the need for a “Certificate of Merit.” Basically, before you can sue a health care provider, you must find another licensed professional in the same field who has reviewed your case and determined there is a “reasonable probability” that your provider acted outside the “acceptable professional standards” for someone in their position. This Certificate must be filed within 60 days of bringing a lawsuit or a judge will dismiss your case.
Contact the O’Donnell Law Offices Today
If a health care provider is found negligent, they can be required to pay a variety of damages to the injured patient, including compensation for their ongoing pain and suffering. Unlike many states, Pennsylvania does not impose any limit or cap on such “non-economic damages.” So if you have been the victim of a doctor’s error and would like to learn more about your legal options from a skilled Allentown medical malpractice lawyer, contact the O’Donnell Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation.