Can Victims of Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania Recover Medical Costs and Lost Wages

May 01, 2024

In Pennsylvania, where medical treatments are expected to adhere to high standards, the occurrence of medical malpractice can not only disrupt lives but also bring about significant financial burdens. Victims often face hefty medical bills and may lose income due to temporary or permanent inability to work. Understanding one’s rights in such cases is crucial to recovering not just health, but also financial stability. This article explores the potential for compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania, shedding light on the types of damages that can be recovered, including medical expenses and lost wages. By delving into the legal landscape, we provide insights into how victims can effectively navigate these challenging situations with the support of skilled legal professionals like Matzus Law, LLC.

Can Victims of Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania Recover Medical Costs and Lost Wages

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania?

Understanding what qualifies as medical malpractice is the foundation of any legal claim related to healthcare mishaps. In Pennsylvania, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standards of practice and causes harm to a patient. Here are the key components needed to establish a malpractice claim:

Legal Standards and Burden of Proof

  • Standard of Care: This refers to the level and type of care that a reasonably competent health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under similar circumstances.
  • Breach of Standard: A claim must show that the healthcare provider failed to meet this standard.
  • Causation: It must be demonstrated that this breach directly caused the injury or worsened the patient’s condition.
  • Damages: Finally, there must be quantifiable damages that resulted from the breach, such as physical pain, emotional distress, additional medical bills, or lost earnings.

Proving Medical Malpractice

To prove malpractice, the plaintiff typically needs expert medical testimony to discuss the standard of care and how it was not met. Medical records, witness statements, and other documentation are also crucial in establishing the facts of the case.

This section aims to clarify the legal criteria for medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania, which is vital for any patient seeking to understand their rights and potential for compensation following medical negligence.

Types of Compensation Available

Victims of medical malpractice can pursue various forms of compensation to cover their losses and damages. Understanding these types can help victims and their families plan their legal strategies effectively.

Economic Damages

  • Medical Bills: Includes all expenses for past and future medical treatments related to the malpractice, such as surgeries, medication, hospital stays, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work during recovery. This also includes future earnings if the victim is left unable to return to work or must switch to a less demanding job due to their injuries.
  • Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Can include travel to and from medical appointments, costs of home care, and any medical equipment needed for recovery.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: Covers the physical and emotional distress caused by the injuries. This is often quantified by the severity of the pain and the extent of the impact on the victim’s quality of life.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation awarded to the spouse or family members for the loss of companionship and support suffered due to the injuries.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the negligence was particularly egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are not meant to compensate the victim but rather to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Structured Settlements

Pennsylvania allows for the compensation to be structured over time, which can provide ongoing financial support to the victim and help manage long-term care and expenses.

Understanding these compensation types is crucial for victims considering a malpractice lawsuit, as it helps establish a clear picture of what can be claimed and supports a more structured approach in seeking justice.

The Process of Claiming Compensation

Navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit can be daunting, but understanding the process helps ensure that victims can effectively manage their claims. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what to expect:

Initial Consultation

  • Choosing the Right Attorney: Victims should start by selecting an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases, ideally with a strong track record in Pennsylvania.
  • Initial Meeting: During this consultation, the attorney will review medical records, the details of the case, and assess the viability of the claim.

Filing the Lawsuit

  • Preparation of Documents: The attorney will prepare the necessary legal documents, outlining the case against the healthcare provider.
  • Notice of Intent: In Pennsylvania, a formal notice of intent to sue must often be filed before the actual lawsuit. This gives the defendant a chance to respond.

Discovery Phase

  • Exchange of Information: Both parties exchange medical records, depositions, and other pertinent information.
  • Expert Testimonies: Both sides will likely bring in medical experts to testify about the standard of care and the alleged breach.

Settlement Negotiations

  • Mediation and Negotiation: Before going to trial, there is often an attempt to settle the case out of court. Many medical malpractice claims are settled during this phase.


  • Presentation in Court: If settlement fails, the case will go to trial where evidence is presented, and witnesses are called. The outcome is then determined by a judge or jury.
  • Judgment and Appeals: The final judgment can be appealed by either side if they believe legal errors were made that affected the verdict.


  • Collection of Award: Once the trial is over and if the judgment is in favor of the plaintiff, steps will be taken to collect the awarded compensation.
  • Structured Settlements: Depending on the agreement, payments might be made over a period of time to manage long-term financial needs.

This structured approach helps victims understand the critical phases of a lawsuit and prepares them for the journey ahead in seeking rightful compensation

Contact Matzus Law, LLC Today

Navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania can be a daunting endeavor, especially when dealing with the personal and financial repercussions of medical errors. Understanding your rights and the types of compensation available is crucial. Victims can claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, but knowing how to effectively pursue these claims is key.

Matzus Law, LLC specializes in medical malpractice cases, providing expert legal representation tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. With a deep commitment to justice and client welfare, the firm ensures that each step of the legal process is handled with care and precision. From initial consultations to intense courtroom battles, Matzus Law, LLC stands by its clients, advocating for their rights and striving to secure the maximum compensation possible.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, remember that you do not have to face this challenge alone. The skilled attorneys at Matzus Law, LLC are ready to help you navigate this complex legal landscape and work towards a resolution that acknowledges and compensates for your suffering and losses. Contact Matzus Law, LLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation, or call us at (412) 206-5300 to talk with our legal team to learn more about your options in your case.  


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