Legal Guide

What Qualifies As Medical Malpractice?

Perhaps there is no type of lawsuit more fraught with controversy than the medical malpractice suit. Medical professionals believe that personal injury attorneys are trying to take advantage of them and their patients. Lawyers and patients believe that doctors and hospitals care about money more than the patient’s well-being.

If you believe that a medical professional has injured you, you may consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Before you do, you will want to talk to a medical malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania. You may also want to learn a bit about what constitutes medical malpractice.

Definition of Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury to a patient by incorrectly diagnosing or treating them. They may also be negligent If they provide them with insufficient aftercare.

In order to have a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, your attorney will have to prove that the medical professional violated their standard of care. “Standard of care” is simply the level of treatment that a reasonable professional would provide.

In addition to proving that they did not meet the standard of care, they must also establish that at least one of the following things occurred.

The Patient was Injured as a Result of the Medical Professionals Negligence

For a malpractice claim to be valid, a person must prove that their injuries were the direct result of the medical professional’s negligence. For example, if you had surgery for a broken wrist and lost 10% of the mobility in your wrist after the operation, you would have to prove that an error made during the surgery caused you to lose that mobility. In some cases, a preexisting condition or your own behavior might cause such an injury.

Your Injuries Were Severe and Debilitating

Malpractice suits are very complex. Your attorney will need to do a copious amount of research, and they will have to hire expert witnesses to prove your case. Any personal injury lawsuit will involve hours of deposition testimony as well.

The amount of time and money spent on any lawsuit must be justified by its potential outcome. Your injuries must be very severe and painful to warrant going to the trouble of a medical malpractice suit. If you have been permanently disfigured or lost the function of a limb or major organ, it is definitely a case worth pursuing.

Laws Pertaining to Malpractice Suits

There is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury suits in Pennsylvania. You have a much longer statute of limitations for a medical malpractice suit. Because these cases are so complex, the state gives you seven years to sue.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is a state that has tort reform. This means you are limited in the amount of money for which you can sue a medical professional.

You must have a certificate of merit to sue a doctor for malpractice. This is essentially a form filled out by another doctor stating your claim is valid. You can only sue for 200 times the amount of your compensatory damages in the Keystone State.

Although it is time-consuming and difficult, medical malpractice lawsuits are sometimes necessary. A doctor takes an oath to do no harm. It is our duty as Americans to hold them to that standard.


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