When a patient isn’t cared for within the established standards of care, the patient can suffer harm. In those cases, the patient might opt to seek financial compensation from the medical professionals and facilities providing the substandard or harmful care. According to a news release by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, the number of medical malpractice cases filed in the state has declined since the 2000 to 2002 base years used for comparison.
While the number of medical malpractice cases increased slightly from 1,510 in 2012 to 1,546 in 2013 according to mccall.com, the filings went down a whopping 43 percent from the base years. In Philadelphia, which is the jurisdiction with the largest caseload, that drop in filings was an astonishing 68 percent.
It would be easy to assume that this significant drop is because doctors are being more cautious these days or that they are providing better care. That, however, might not be the case.
There are two factors that are being cited as the reasons for the drop. One of these reasons is the inability to “venue shop” when filing a claim. Now, the medical malpractice claim must be filed in the same county as where the alleged malpractice occurred. The second reason is that prior to filing a claim, a certificate of merit has to be obtained from a medical expert who is well versed in the practice area pertaining to the claim.
It is especially important that victims of medical malpractice not let this drop in filings deter them from seeking compensation for their injuries. Instead, victims should know their rights are be ready to assert them to get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Source: WeAreCentralPA.com, Pa. Medical Malpractice Cases Drop Significantly No author given, Jun. 23, 2014