Unfortunately, medical professionals are as prone to mistakes and misjudgments as anyone else. The difference is that a patient may suffer permanent consequences for a mistake made by a doctor. When a medical error causes harm, patients may wish to sue their physicians and other licensed professionals involved in their care for damages.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated, so it could be beneficial to seek guidance from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. A Cambria County medical malpractice lawyer could guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you may have.
Establishing Medical Misconduct
A poor outcome from a medical procedure or treatment is not necessarily medical malpractice. To win a verdict in a medical error lawsuit, an injured patient must establish that the medical professional had a duty to the patient, breached that duty, and the breach was the cause of his or her harm.
If the plaintiff sought medical advice, care, or treatment from a licensed medical professional such as a physician, dentist, nurse, or pharmacist, the medical professional owes a duty of care to the patient.
All medical professionals must provide a quality of service that is consistent with that which a reasonably skilled practitioner would provide in similar circumstances. This is called the standard of care.
Medical advice and treatment that does not meet that standard constitutes a breach of the duty. A Cambria County attorney must retain an expert witness to prove the standard of care was not met, resulting in medical misconduct.
The final element the lawyer must prove is that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The attorney must provide enough evidence to show that the defendant’s conduct was a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Statute of Limitations in Cambria County
Generally, Pennsylvania law requires a plaintiff to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of the negligent conduct or within two years of the discovery of the injury. However, the Discovery Rule may serve to extend the statute of limitations in the case of medical malpractice. For example, if a person is unable, despite reasonable diligence, to recognize that they were injured, or that they were injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, then the deadline for filing a claim may be extended by application of this Rule. Further, Pennsylvania law generally extends the statute of limitations for minors. If you have a question about the applicability of the statute of limitations in your potential medical negligence claim, a skilled local attorney will help determine whether you are still able to bring your claim.
Recoverable Damages for an Injured Patient
Plaintiffs who prove medical malpractice could receive compensatory damages for their current and future medical costs, lost earnings, future diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses. Pennsylvania does not cap the amount of compensatory damages a jury can award in a medical malpractice case. A persuasive malpractice attorney might be able to obtain just compensation for a patient’s injuries.
Get a Cambria County Medical Malpractice Attorney on Your Side
It can be hard to know where to turn when you have suffered harm due to poor medical care. Bringing a lawsuit against healthcare providers may feel intimidating or overwhelming, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. Consulting with a Cambria County medical malpractice lawyer could put your mind at ease and help you understand your options. Contact the office of Marcus & Mack right away to schedule a complimentary case review.