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Medical Malpractice the Basics

A claim for medical malpractice arises when a person was injured or harmed in some way by medical treatment or misdiagnosis and the treatment was below the accepted standard of care for medical providers in that community under similar circumstances.  A medical malpractice claim is a negligence claim.  

It is important to realize that with medical malpractice claims (as with all civil claims) there is a time limit, or statute of limitations, to the claim.  For medical malpractice the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of injury.  Pennsylvania medical malpractice claims also require a certificate of merit, which is a document obtained from a medical expert who reviews your medical records to determine if your injuries were caused by the medical provider deviating from the acceptable standard of care.  The certificate of merit shows the court that your claim has merit to proceed.  The attorney you hire will help you obtain the certificate of merit needed for filing with the court.

If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice it is important to seek medical treatment right away to prevent further injury.  Once the medical treatment is stabilized it is important to contact an attorney if you wish to seek recovery from the medical provider who caused the injuries.  Remember that you only have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim.

Source:  "First Steps in a Medical Malpractice Case", Find Law

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