Medical Malpractice & Negligence in Chester County

Medical Malpractice & Burden of Proof Standards

Medical malpractice or negligence is the third leading cause of death in the US. This includes PA, of course, and Chester County, as many large teaching hospitals and physicians practice in PA and are established medical providers. In a study commissioned by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), John Hopkins University of Medicine studied the statistics and published this data as fact. 

Not every incidence of suspected medical malpractice or negligence qualifies as a lawsuit, and individuals need to know when a case exists and when it does not. Medical errors will occur, and certain factors need to be present when seeking compensation due to medical neglect or errors. 

Since anyone that seeks medical care and has an unfortunate experience or outcome might feel “wronged,” this does not necessarily mean that a physician or institution will be found liable. Some standards infringe on the Duty of Care, but some do not. 

Bad outcomes in medical treatment should be discussed by a qualified attorney in Chester County, PA. Christian J. Hoey, ESQ, one of the top medical malpractice attorneys in the US, with decades of experience, should be called to ascertain whether any patient has a case against a practitioner or institution. 

The Burden of Proof Standards in Medical Malpractice/Negligence

A certain Duty of Care needs to be maintained by all medical providers. However, there is much “grey” in this area, as there are both aggravating and mitigating circumstancesThe Duty of Care mandates that reasonable expectations of care must be met, but circumstances can exist even when this standard is met. 

·     Aggravating circumstances

Since “reasonable standards” must be followed, any medical error by ANY medical personnel that leads to harm to a patient is considered an aggravating circumstance. 

Some prime examples of this type of serious breach of the Duty of Care are cases where medical instruments are left inside the body of a patient during surgery or when an overdose of anesthesia occurs and leads to death or other types of injury. 

These instances are entirely preventable, and the case for medical malpractice or negligence is more easily proven as the standard of care is seriously breached. The two examples given are only a sample, as dozens of aggravating circumstances can exist. 

·     Mitigating circumstances

These types of medical malpractice claims can be more difficult to prove. Examples of mitigating circumstances can include patients with adverse prognoses, such as cancer, or with multiple injuries or concurrent diagnoses. 

Medical personnel might very well and usually do provide the Duty of Care necessary, but the patient does not recover nonetheless or suffers injuries that are deadly and do not respond to appropriate treatments. 

While family members may be angry and feel justified in bringing a lawsuit against anyone involved in the care of this type of patient, this does not mean a successful prosecution of a defendant. 

·     Foreseeable dangers

Any medical treatment that does not take into account the foreseeable dangers of creating more injury or pain and suffering in a patient is generally a cause for bringing a lawsuit. Foreseeable dangers can also include treatments that are not necessary or that increase the financial burdens of unnecessary treatments. 

The Duty of Care always includes a treatment plan that is reasonable and just. The Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm” is what drives the medical infringement of Duty of Care. This is generally an easier malpractice or negligence case for a seasoned malpractice attorney, although more complex than aggravating circumstances cases. 

Conclusion- Medical Malpractice/Negligence—Burden of Proof Standards

The burden of proof in medical malpractice and negligence cases rests with the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff has died or is in no condition to participate, with the family to prove malfeasance by medical personnel or institutions.

Grief may propel patients or families into wanting some type of compensation for pain, suffering, and financial loss. Medical malpractice and negligence cases do need a thorough review before the Statute of Limitations runs out and before any filings are done on behalf of plaintiffs. 

Medical malpractice and negligence are all too common and one of the most serious types of personal injury, as many times it can be entirely preventable. 

A team of professionals, such as those at HoeyLegal, of Paoli, PA, should be consulted ASAP. All initial consultations are free, and a form and two phone numbers are provided for quick contact: 610-647-5151 or 1-888-GO-HOEY1

Attorney Hoey understands that in these types of cases, “You cannot afford to lose!”

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

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