While many other states in the country have strict limits on what people can collect in damages following a medical malpractice case, Pennsylvania has no such “damage caps.” If a person gets injured or dies because of a doctor’s negligence, then that person or the family can recover whatever compensation the jury or judge decides to award them.
However, there are certain special rules pertaining to medical malpractice cases about which residents of Pittsburgh should be aware. Although it is true that victims of medical negligence can get their medical expenses paid and their wages covered without having to worry about a cap on damages, such is not the case when it comes to punitive damages. Unless a doctor actually harmed a patient on purpose, a victim can only get 200 percent of his actual damages as additional “punitive damages.”
Moreover, out of these punitive damages, 25 percent of the award goes to the State of Pennsylvania. This amount is so that the state can maintain its public program that offers additional insurance to doctors and medical professionals when their own insurance will not cover all of the bills.
The good news for Pennsylvania residents is that no damage cap is in place that would deprive those people from getting the compensation that they need following an incident of medical malpractice. However, the plaintiff still has to make his or her case with respect to damages. Even when a hospital is willing to admit some responsibility, it will often refute the damages that the plaintiff requests.
Any person in the Pittsburgh area who thinks that they may be a victim of medical malpractice should understand their legal options.