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Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Laws

10.02 Professional Negligence of Physician -- Definition
Professional negligence consists of a negligent, careless, or unskilled performance by a physician of the duties imposed on him or her by the professional relationship with the patient. It is also negligence when a physician shows a lack of proper care and skill in the performance of a professional act.

10.08 Damages in Medical Malpractice Actions

If your verdict is in favor of the plaintiff, you must make separate findings with respect to the following items of damage:
past medical and related expenses in a lump sum
past loss of earnings in a lump sum
past noneconomic loss in a lump sum
future medical and related expenses by year
future loss of earnings or earning capacity in a lump sum
future noneconomic loss in a lump sum

For future medical and other related expenses, you must determine the amount of those expenses on a year-by-year basis for the length of time that you find such expenses will be incurred.

For future loss of earnings or earning capacity, these items of damage must be reduced to present value based upon the return that the plaintiff could earn on a reasonably secure fixed-income investment. You have heard evidence from the witness about this reduction. Such evidence is not conclusive, but it merely offered as an aid to assist you in determining the present value of any future damages. You may also consider any evidence that has been provided on the effect of productivity and inflation over time. Future productivity is the increase in wages or compensation that the plaintiff would have received had he or she not sustained the injury. Inflation is a rise in prices. If you believe that the plaintiff has sustained a loss of productivity or would have had increased wages due to inflation, you may use this evidence as a guide in reaching your decision as to the amount of the plaintiff's loss of future earning capacity.
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