Doctors, dentists, and nurses play a vital role in our communities. Any injured or ill person should expect to be able to visit these medical professionals and receive safe, knowledgeable treatment.
In some instances, however, a doctor may make a mistake that delays a diagnosis, worsens an injury, or actively causes a disease to progress. Such outcomes are common examples of medical malpractice. A Western PA medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation when a doctor or hospital error leads to an injury or illness. Reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
What does it Mean for a Medical Provider to Commit Malpractice?
A poor outcome while in the care of a medical professional is not necessarily an example of malpractice. Medicine is an inexact science, and not every patient will make a full recovery or return to full health. Instead, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim must prove that a defendant provider’s treatment fell below the appropriate standard of care and that deviation caused an unwarranted detrimental effect on the patient’s health.
Specifically, a defendant medical provider must violate the duty of care. According to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruling in Ditch v. Waynesboro Hospital, 917 A.2d 317 (Pa. Super. 2007), medical malpractice occurs when a defendant medical provider commits an unwarranted departure from generally accepted standards of medical practice resulting in injury to a patient.
Examples of this departure from appropriate medical care may include:
- A failure to make a diagnosis or to order tests that may point to a diagnosis
- Incorrectly interpreting diagnostic tests
- Performing a procedure incorrectly, such as failing to properly set a bone or draw blood
- Surgical errors, including leaving an instrument inside a patient
- Medication errors concerning dosage or drug interactions
- Premature release from a hospital or doctor office
An Indiana, PA medical malpractice lawyer could help investigate whether medical malpractice occurred.
What Must a Plaintiff Prove in Court?
The attorneys at Marcus & Mack could hire the necessary qualified medical experts needed to prove your case in court. In fact, a plaintiff cannot even pursue a claim for damages without working with one of these experts. According to Pa. R.C.P. §1042.3, any plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must submit a certificate of merit affirming that the plaintiff has consulted with a qualified expert and that the expert believes that there is a good faith reason to believe that malpractice has occurred.
In pursuing your case in court, the attorneys at Marcus & Mack may rely upon an expert witness who could evaluate the actions of the defendant provider by examining medical records, referring to established procedures that a defendant may have failed to follow, and offering an alternative means of providing care that may have prevented the injury. An Indiana, PA medical malpractice lawyer could help plaintiffs locate and hire expert medical witnesses who may be able to testify against negligent doctors or hospitals.
A Western PA Medical Malpractice Attorney Could Help to Fight for You
Every medical provider in Indiana, PA and around the country must provide competent care. While this is no guarantee of a positive outcome, there is a general requirement that a doctor will take every reasonable step to work towards a good result. Failure to take these steps may be an example of medical malpractice.
A Western PA medical malpractice lawyer could help you investigate, initiate, and litigate medical malpractice. The attorneys at Marcus & Mack could help with every stage of the process, from an initial evaluation, to locating a qualified expert witness, to pursuing your rights in settlement talks and court. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.