Are Medical Malpractice Suits Hard to Win in Philadelphia? Understanding the Challenges


If you ask the general practice lawyer down the street questions about a medical mistake, they’re likely going to give you the number of a different attorney. If you call your neighbor’s lawyer with a potential medical malpractice case, they’re likely going to recommend you to a specialist in this area. There’s a reason most lawyers don’t take medical malpractice cases: they are not easy and they are complex. Read on to understand the challenges of winning a medical malpractice suit.


Medical malpractice lawyers must understand the art and science of medicine. If you have a stroke and the emergency room doctors fail to treat you urgently, you could suffer serious injuries. Your medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia must know at least the very basics of neurology—the study of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves—to understand what was happening in your body at the time of the medical event and what the doctors should have done to properly treat you.


Medical malpractice lawyers must know the ins and outs of the healthcare system. A hospital isn’t just made up of doctors. There are nurses, physicians’ assistants, technicians, administrators, cleaning staff, pharmacists, phlebotomists, and aides. And healthcare doesn’t just take place in hospitals. Healthcare happens in private practice offices, surgical centers, emergency vehicles, pharmacies, and in private homes. And healthcare isn’t just surgery. Healthcare includes the prescription of medicines, the intake at a medical appointment, infection treatment, the transport of a patient, surgery preparation, surgery post-operative care, device implantation, and wound treatment. Medical malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia understand all the nuances of the healthcare system: who does what, where various medical treatments take place, who is liable for your injury, and whom to contact for evidence.


Medical malpractice lawyers must be versed in the complicated laws. In every medical malpractice case, time is of the essence. If you do not act efficiently and swiftly, critical information could be permanently lost or worse: You could lose the opportunity to file a lawsuit at all! Under the Pennsylvania statute of limitations, you have two years from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendants’ medical mistake. In the case of a deceased party, Pennsylvania law allows the decedent’s loved one two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. In some exceptional cases, the plaintiff can show that the defendants “fraudulently concealed” their negligence (for instance, if they persuaded the plaintiff that their injury was not caused by their actions or inactions). In the case of fraudulent concealment, the plaintiff is granted two years from the time they discovered (or should have discovered) that the defendants’ actions or omissions could likely have caused their loved one’s death.


The above-referenced statute of limitations is not the only rule of law in a medical malpractice case. In fact, there are hundreds of different rules and procedures a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia must know. Some pertain to what elements need to be included in the Complaint, how you serve the Complaint upon the defendants, when you serve the Complaint, what attachments must be included with the Complaint, how to conduct discovery, when to conduct discovery, which motions must be filed in order to preclude evidence, and then, if the case goes to trial, there are evidentiary rules and rules of procedure that govern that whole process. It takes a combination of a law school education and several years of specific experience to learn and understand the pages upon pages of complex rules and procedures.


Medical malpractice cases involve myriad complexities and it takes a specialist in medical malpractice law to overcome all the challenges and win your case. Find such an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer at VSCP Law.



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