Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

One Pennsylvania County sees rise in medical malpractice claims

One particular county in Pennsylvania has seen a rise in medical malpractice claims. There are a variety of theories as to why this one particular county has been seeing more such claims. Some suggest that it's the result of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that discourages patients from choosing what county to file their claim, and others suggest the rise is because of a greater variety of maladies being treated in that particular county.

It is also possible that the rise in claims is due to actual negligence on the part of treating physicians. One particular doctor in the county had been sued 28 times in the county for medical malpractice, and in one case this same doctor had settled out for $650,000 after an individual died two days after surgery.

Considering how many medical malpractice cases actually settle before ever going to trial, it's difficult to comprehend just how many medical mistakes are made by doctors and staff. Hospitals may fear jury trials because jurors often understand the devastation that can be caused by a medical mistake.

Jury members may also wish to hold doctors personally liable because otherwise the rest of us end up supporting the injured patient through higher insurance premiums and tax dollars. Nobody wants to have to pay for someone else's mistake.

Thankfully, medical malpractice is rare. The number of medical malpractice cases may have only risen proportionately to the amount of care that is currently given.

It could also be argued that medical lawsuits brought by clients and attorneys in the past have forced doctors and hospitals to provide better medical care.

Source: Lancaster Online, "Medical malpractice lawsuits up here," by Gil Smart, July 22, 2012

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