Legal Guide

What is the process of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

A medical malpractice injury can have lasting impacts on a person’s health and finances. You go to see a healthcare professional for any number of reasons and expect them to help you get healthy. But unfortunately that is not what happens many times in the United States, there are a number of ways one could become further injured due to medical malpractice, today we will discuss how these cases happen and what the process looks like for a medical malpractice lawsuit. First, let us take a look at how these types of medical accidents or mistakes happen.

Reasons Why a Medical Mistake May Occur

As you could imagine, medical mistakes can happen anytime and anywhere for any number of reasons. Today we will look at the most common reasons why these mistakes are made. Some of them are but not limited to:

  • Communication errors – when one is being treated for an injury or any type of illness seldom is it just one healthcare professional looking at the information. It could be two doctors that are seeing a patient at different times, or hospital staff making a decision on a treatment without the correct or proper information on the patient. Or they did not communicate with the patient themselves regarding pre-existing conditions, allergies, etc. If a healthcare professional is making decisions without the right information many times, they will make a crucial mistake when it comes to their diagnosis or treatment. This can lead to many medical mistakes.
  • Keeping accurate records – this somewhat ties in to the above, if a healthcare office does not have the proper information on file, it can lead to a costly mistake in the treatment of the patient.
  • Sometimes it can be the procedures set in place by the healthcare facility, not having equipment properly sanitized or processes in place to ensure patient safety.
  • A hospital may be short staffed, which means doctors and nurses are rushing to get to the next patient and might overlook critical details.
  • Surgical errors – There are so many ways a surgery can go wrong due to a healthcare workers negligence, some of the most common are:
    • Wrong site surgery
    • Incorrect surgical procedure
    • Surgery on the wrong patient
    • Surgical instruments that were left in the patient’s body, these can be things ranging from towels, sponges, and retractors and if left in the body can do major damage.
    • Infection from using surgical equipment that has not been properly sanitized
    • Damages to the nerves due to a surgical mistake or anesthesia mistake
    • Errors with the medication given to the patient
    • Not giving proper advise to the patient about their behaviors after the surgery
  • Also, many times a lot of these healthcare workers are working long hours which can deprive them of sleep. If one is fatigued, they could make a medical error due to their lack of focus.

As mentioned, these are just a few of the ways a medical mistake can happen, now let us take a look at the process of a medical malpractice case in the event that the above happened to someone.

Process of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you believe you were injured due to medical malpractice, the first step in a medical malpractice lawsuit is to reach out to a skilled medical malpractice attorney. They will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The process a medical malpractice attorney will take in Pennsylvania would be to:

  • Perform an in-depth investigation on the facts of the case, which could be potential causes of your illness and or injury that occurred.
  • Figure out who is at fault for the injury and the harm you may have endured.
  • Calculate the damages that were sustained and determine how much compensation you should be owed.
  • Deal on your behalf with the healthcare company or companies, insurance companies, and any other attorneys who might be involved in the case.
  • Develop a case based on the research that has been done, the law, and prior cases they have handled that are similar to yours.
  • Go to court and fight for the compensation you deserve.

These steps are at a very high level of what a medical malpractice attorney can do to help you win a medical malpractice case. The laws surrounding this area of law are very intricate and can get confusing, a skilled malpractice lawyer will know them and know the steps it takes to get your compensation for your damages.

Now there is a statute of limitation in Pennsylvania for one to file for a medical malpractice claim. A statute of limitations is essentially the time period one has to file a lawsuit after the injury occurred. In Pennsylvania this time frame is within 2 years of the injury, but there are some exceptions to this. If the victim of the malpractice was a minor or even a child, they deadline for one to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is before the said minor or child turns 20 years old. As you can see the process of a medical malpractice lawsuit is complex and should not be gone alone. Reach out to a medical malpractice attorney today so they can help you get through this process with peace of mind.

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