While many medical providers are competent and skilled, some provide substandard care that can result in injuries to patients. When this situation occurs, these providers may be liable for medical malpractice. Injured individuals who believe that they are victims of medical malpractice should not hesitate to contact an Altoona medical malpractice lawyer for advice.
Medical malpractice is a highly complex area of law that is difficult to navigate on your own. Proving that your surgeon, doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider committed malpractice and caused your injuries can be a challenging process. With all the different ways that medical malpractice may occur, you may wish to rely on a skilled Altoona personal injury lawyer for help.
Types of Medical Malpractice in Altoona
Medical malpractice occurs when the care and treatment that medical personnel provide for their patients falls below the accepted standard of care for that profession. If patients suffer injuries or a worsening of their medical conditions as a result of the substandard medical care, they may have a cause of action for medical malpractice.
Various situations can lead to medical malpractice. For instance, a doctor may fail to diagnose or misdiagnose a medical condition or disease. A missed diagnosis may result in crucial delays in treatment that could substantially worsen the condition or make it untreatable. Another typical medical error may occur when doctors, nurses, or pharmacists make mistakes in administering medication to patients. In doing so, they may:
- Fail to recognize a potential drug interaction with a medication that the patient is already taking
- Substitute the wrong medication when filling a prescription
- Administer the incorrect medication or the wrong dosage
When a patient receives the wrong medication, severe side effects or drug interactions can result. As a result, patients may suffer injuries, worsening of existing medical conditions, or even wrongful death. A medical malpractice lawyer in Altoona may be able to investigate the circumstances that led to the injuries or death of patients and determine whether malpractice occurred in specific cases.
Establishing Liability Against a Healthcare Provider
Doctors are not the only potential defendants or liable parties in medical malpractice claims. Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and assisted living facilities can also face liability for the negligence of any medical providers that they employ. These entities are responsible for the actions of their staff members through the legal theory of vicarious liability. Additionally, if hospitals failed to hire, supervise, or manage health care providers properly, they may be directly liable for any ensuing harm.
Many entities that provide medical care to patients adopt standardized hiring practices and supervision methods for their employees. They may also establish rules of patient care and other policies that govern how medical professionals act while in their employ. If facilities fail to ensure that their employees follow these standards or do not follow their own rules, they may be liable.
Damages in Altoona Medical Malpractice Claims
Injured patients may be eligible to seek various damages in medical malpractice claims, which can be both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses in medical malpractice cases could include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and long-term care expenses. Non-economic damages may be more challenging to calculate, but these damages provide compensation for pain and suffering and permanent impairment resulting from the malpractice.
Unlike some states, Pennsylvania places no caps on compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases. Punitive damages, which are designed to punish negligent health care providers in egregious cases, are relatively rare in medical malpractice cases.
Consult with an Altoona Medical Malpractice Attorney at Once
In most medical malpractice cases, the opinion of a neutral medical expert provides the best evidence to support a claim. An Altoona medical malpractice lawyer could help ensure that you obtain the medical proof necessary to recover full compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Marcus & Mack.