Patients entrust their very lives to medical professionals every day, and generally, that trust is well-placed. But that is not always the case. Thousands of patients in the United States lose their lives every year due to medical errors on the part of the doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others who are duty-bound to “do no harm” in the care they deliver to patients. All medical professionals are subject to liability when they fail to render the care that is considered standard within the medical community. A medical malpractice attorney can help you today if you or a loved one have been injured due to a medical error.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
In order for an action to be considered medical malpractice, it must meet certain thresholds in the state of Pennsylvania. To meet the required criteria for a malpractice claim:
- The action must violate the standard of care: Within the medical profession, there are specific standards that are widely accepted to be the norm for prudent and reasonable providers of care in similar or nearly similar circumstances. Patients have an expectation that the care they receive is consistent with accepted care practices. When the care received deviates from the standard, then malpractice may have occurred.
- The deviation in standard care must result in an injury: The negligence resulting from receiving care that was substandard must have caused an injury. The test for this is whether or not the plaintiff in the medical malpractice claim would have sustained the injury if the negligence did not exist. Keep in mind that an unfavorable outcome does not translate automatically to medical malpractice. No case exists if negligence doesn’t exist or there is negligence but no existing injury.
- The injury received must be significant: Litigation in a medical malpractice case is costly. For this reason, plaintiffs must have significant damages for the viability of the case. Generally speaking, injuries sustained at the hands of the medical professional must be shown to have caused disability, income loss, hardship, suffering, and pain, and there should be significant medical costs involved, including the current costs of care and anticipated future costs.
Medical Malpractice Examples
Medical malpractice can occur in many ways. Some of the most common leading to a medical malpractice claim include:
- Misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose
- Ignoring or misinterpreting laboratory findings
- Surgery that is unwarranted
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors, including wrong-site operations
- Failure to order necessary diagnostic tests
- Discharging patients prematurely
- Not investigating patient’s history properly
- Disregarding the patient’s history
- Infections acquired in healthcare settings
- Failure to obtain patient’s consent
When medical malpractice occurs, you are within your rights to collect damages ranging from medical costs to lost wages, pain and suffering, and diminished capacity. Filing a claim is not just about being made whole again, at least financially. It is also important to file a claim to hold the medical community (and the specific medical professionals involved in your case) accountable for their actions, recklessness, and negligence.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Because of the strict statute of limitations in Pennsylvania when it comes to medical malpractice claims, it is vital that you file your claim as soon as possible following the discovery of your injury. The Media medical malpractice attorneys with the Dan Doyle Law Group can help with your claim every step of the way. Let us advocate for you. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 215-987-3730.