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The mere concept of medical malpractice is a horrifying thought to healthcare consumers. When you receive care from your trusted medical provider, the last thing you expect is to walk out injured or worse than before. While some instances of medical error may be just that, actual medical malpractice is unfortunately all too common.
When you believe that you or a family member has been injured due to medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Medical misconduct cases are notoriously complex and will meet significant challenges from the other side. A Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer that knows the details and peculiarities of this law and is well-versed in bringing these cases to a successful conclusion could provide the diligent advocacy and tireless representation required for your case.
Common Instances of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can take a wide variety of forms. Some common instances of such negligence include misdiagnosing an illness or medical condition or failing to diagnose a disease or medical condition. Birth injuries, medication errors, delayed treatment, and improper treatment can also be examples of medical malpractice.
Other common medical malpractice situations can include various surgical mistakes, such as operating on the wrong side of the patient’s body, leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient, or even performing unnecessary surgery. When someone believes their injury has resulted from medical malpractice, it is prudent to speak with a Pennsylvania lawyer who could investigate the situation further to assess whether a viable compensation claim may exist.
Establishing Medical Negligence
Establishing medical misconduct is critical to pursue a successful medical malpractice claim. The existence of poor outcomes following a medical procedure or even a medical error alone does not suffice to prove medical negligence. To support a compensation claim, an instance of alleged medical malpractice must meet four primary tests: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
First, the claimant must show the doctor or other medical provider owed them a duty of care, such as that established in a traditional physician-patient relationship. Then, they must show the medical provider breached this duty somehow. For instance, if the physician, nurse, or other provider did not adhere to the medical standard of care given the circumstances, they may have breached their legal duty.
The third element is causation. In other words, there must be a direct link that connects that action or inaction of the medical provider with the injury the patient sustained. Finally, the patient’s injuries must have resulted in damages, which could be losses ranging from specific medical costs to non-specific losses like pain and suffering. An attorney in Pennsylvania could evaluate the basis of a prospective medical malpractice claim to determine whether the necessary elements exist to move forward with a case.
Deadline to File a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Claim
The statutory deadline for injury matters in Pennsylvania, including medical malpractice claims, is generally two years, as stated in 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524. However, in the case of medical malpractice claims, there is a range of potential exceptions that could otherwise delay or extend this two-year filing window.
For example, patients could be harmed due to malpractice but not immediately realize they are injured, whether due to the medical provider purposely concealing it from them or another reason. These circumstances could lengthen the statute of limitations. Likewise, the law could extend the filing window if the patient was under 18 at the time of the alleged malpractice. It is essential to get advice from a Pennsylvania lawyer who could identify this filing timeline based on the circumstances involved in a potential medical malpractice case.
Discuss Legal Options With a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Attorney
The idea of pursuing a medical malpractice claim may understandably feel overwhelming. When you believe you have a cause of action arising from medical negligence, you should speak with a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer who could review the facts and events surrounding your injury.
An attorney could offer in-depth guidance regarding your legal rights and standing to bring a case. Call our team to arrange a confidential consultation about your potential medical misconduct claim.