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Fewer medical malpractice lawsuits in the state of Pennsylvania

There are a variety of reasons a person may decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, nurse or hospital. The common thread among all medical malpractice lawsuits is that a patient encounters negligence on the part of a medical provider that results in an injury. Many residents of the Pittsburgh area are likely glad these lawsuits exist as they provide an important option for those who have been hurt to seek compensation for the injuries.

As it turns out, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the state of Pennsylvania is on the decline. In 2012, the number dropped 10 percent from the previous year, to 1,508. That number is significantly lower than the average number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the years between 2000 and 2002.

Pennsylvania residents may be aware of the reasons likely behind the great decrease. First, beginning in 2003 a “certificate of merit” became necessary before a lawsuit could be filed. The certificate needed to indicate that the injured individual had received an unacceptable level of care and had to be provided by a health care professional. In addition, when a lawsuit was filed it had to be done in the same county in which the injury was suffered.

These changes have undoubtedly had an impact on the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the state. Despite these changes there are still times when such a lawsuit is an appropriate action. Lawyers who handle such cases can help determine when a medical malpractice claim is a good idea.

Source: The Clinical Advisor, “Pennsylvania malpractice lawsuits declining,” Ann W. Latner, June 17, 2013

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