The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made a highly controversial move in 2003. It stated that patients would only be able to sue their medical providers for malpractice in the same county where that malpractice occurred. Some people worried that doctors would flee because of harsh malpractice laws, so the change made it more difficult for patients to find a venue where a jury may prove to be more sympathetic.
It’s been around 15 years since then. A current study shows that the cost of malpractice insurance isn’t conclusively linked to the number of doctors who are working in the state. That’s leading to a new discussion over the change in the law in 2003. Some believe it unfairly harmed patients living in rural communities or places where juries were less friendly to medical malpractice claims.
Others think that allowing people to choose where they file a claim means they can pick a place where they’re more likely to win, which could unfairly raise the cost of medical malpractice insurance for medical providers. Being unable to choose where to file could give medical providers the upper hand, though, especially in areas where malpractice claims aren’t looked upon kindly.
Patients who are harmed by errors deserve fair treatment
If you are a patient who has been injured because of a surgical error or other issue, you deserve to be treated fairly. No matter where you are, if you have evidence that you were hurt because of mistakes that were made during a surgery or other treatment, you can make a claim. Many claims settle outside court, so you can move on with your life without needing to go to trial.