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Medical Malpractice

Doctor Malpractice

Medical malpractice law is designed to protect patients who have suffered harm due to the negligence or unskilled treatment by a healthcare professional. This includes not just physicians, but also other healthcare providers such as nurses and dentists. 

To establish a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, four legal elements must be demonstrated:

  1. A professional duty of care was owed to the patient.

  2. There was a breach of that duty.

  3. The breach resulted in injury.

  4. There were damages that arose as a result. 

Damages in a medical malpractice case can be both economic (such as lost wages, medical bills) and non-economic (such as physical and emotional pain and suffering). In Pennsylvania, there is no cap on compensatory damages that can be collected as a result of a medical malpractice case. However, punitive damages, which are awarded as a “punishment” for a faulty action, cannot exceed 200% of compensatory damages awarded.

Most jurisdictions have a 2-year statute of limitations to bring a medical malpractice case. This means that a plaintiff has two years from the date at which they discover (or reasonably should have discovered) that they suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice.

Remember, each case is unique and the complexities of medical malpractice law require expert legal advice. Law firms practicing in this area can provide valuable assistance.Please note that this is a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a professional for your specific needs.

Medical malpractice can take many forms, including:

  1. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose: This occurs when a healthcare provider fails to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition, which can lead to incorrect treatment and potentially worsen the patient’s condition. 

  2. Delayed Diagnosis: This happens when a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a patient in a timely manner, which can lead to a progression of the illness or condition. 

  3. Childbirth Injuries: These are injuries that occur to a child before, during, or immediately after birth due to medical negligence. 

  4. Medication Errors: This includes prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or failing to consider harmful drug interactions. 

  5. Anesthesia Errors: These can occur when an anesthesiologist administers too much or too little anesthesia, or fails to monitor a patient’s vital signs during a procedure. 

  6. Surgical Errors: These can include operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside a patient, or causing unnecessary damage during surgery. 

What to do if you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice. If you suspect that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical negligence, here are some steps you should consider:

  • Do NOT Reach Out to Your Doctor/Provider Directly: Your first instinct may be to reach out to the doctor or provider who was negligent. However, this is not advised as it could potentially complicate any future legal proceedings.

  • Document Everything: Keep a record of all interactions, treatments, medications, and any changes in your health. Documentation is incredibly important in medical malpractice cases.

  • Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Immediately: Medical malpractice law is complex and varies by state. An attorney can guide you through the process and help protect your rights.

  • Find a New Doctor: If you're still in need of medical care, seek out another healthcare provider. It's important to ensure your health is being properly managed.

  • Don’t Talk About It to Anyone Other Than Your Attorney: To protect your privacy and the integrity of your case, it's recommended to only discuss the matter with your attorney. 

 

Remember, this is a general guide and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a professional for your specific needs, as each case is unique and requires expert legal advice. At Goldleaf Law, we hold professionals accountable for mistakes that should not have happened.

Unsure if your case qualifies? Contact us to find out.

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