If you are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you may wonder about the costs of bringing this type of lawsuit. While every case is unique, a medical malpractice claim can be complicated and require additional expenses, such as hiring a medical expert. However, the amount of financial compensation that you could receive can make it more than worth the price of filing.
The Average Price of Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Pennsylvania
There are no reliable averages in medical malpractice law, as every single case is 100 percent unique. No two patients or claims are exactly alike. That being said, you can gain a better understanding of how much it might cost to file a medical malpractice or birth injury claim in Pennsylvania by breaking down the common expenses associated with a lawsuit. A medical malpractice case may require the following costs:
- Court costs and filing fees. The civil courts in Philadelphia County charge a fee for filing any type of personal injury lawsuit. This fee is usually around $100 but may be more for a high-value claim – in addition to surcharges and convenience fees.
- Administrative fees. There are often costs associated with the administrative side of bringing a case, such as the price to obtain certified copies of medical records, print out accident reports and obtain other documents.
- Medical expert hiring costs. In Pennsylvania, a certificate of merit is a legal requirement for a medical malpractice claim. This is a document that bears the signature of an appropriate licensed professional. This may or may not be the same medical expert who will testify on behalf of the plaintiff at trial. Hiring medical experts often costs between $350 to $500 or more per hour.
- Attorney’s fees. Most medical malpractice attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis for their clients. This means that they charge their attorney’s fees as a percentage of the overall settlement or judgment award won, and only if the case is successful. While the percentage varies among different lawyers, it is often around one-third or 33 percent of the award collected.
Note that you may not be the person who has to pay for these costs. They could fall under the category of compensable losses that the defendant must cover if you win your medical malpractice claim. An attorney can tell you who will most likely be responsible for paying for the legal costs associated with bringing your medical malpractice claim based on the circumstances.
Is Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Worth the Cost?
Bringing a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania can cost thousands of dollars in total legal, court and attorney’s fees. However, it can be more than worth the cost if you receive a settlement or judgment award. In fact, it may cost you more money not to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, as you would be paying for your related medical expenses and other significant costs out of pocket.
A successful lawsuit, on the other hand, can result in a payment to fully cover your past and future related expenses, including the price of filing, as well as an additional amount awarded for your pain and suffering. Pennsylvania does not have a damage cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. This means the amount that you could receive for a serious injury or a loved one’s wrongful death lawsuit in Philadelphia due to medical malpractice is not subject to a legal maximum.
Can You Reduce the Costs of Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim?
You may be able to minimize the costs of filing a medical malpractice claim by taking care of some of the legal legwork of your case on your own, such as obtaining as much evidence and documentation to support your case as you can find. However, representing yourself is not a suitable way to save money on a claim. Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and should only be handled by experienced attorneys. A skilled Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can keep your costs to a minimum with efficient legal services and medical bill negotiations while maximizing your financial outcome at the same time.