What constitutes medical malpractice?

The state of Pennsylvania affords patients the right to hold medical professionals or institutions civilly liable when patients suffer harm as a result of negligence. Not all side effects you experience, worsened diseases, or even practitioner misjudgments are cause for filing a medical malpractice suit. In order to bring and win a malpractice claim, there are several elements that must be met, some of which are discussed below.

Do you have a viable medical malpractice case?

In order for an injury to be a valid medical malpractice case, there are several elements you need to prove, which include the following.

  • Breach of duty: Medical care providers have a legal duty of care to their patients; i.e. they must provide with a certain standard of care. For a situation to constitute medical malpractice, you have to be able to show that the provider acted in some way that breached that duty; that he/she acted negligently in some manner.
  • Causation: Next, you must be able to prove that your injury is a direct result of the physician’s negligence.

Note, it’s not enough to show that the doctor made a mistake. The courts will ponder whether or not another doctor with similar credentials in a similar situation might make the same judgment call. Only if the doctor acted unreasonably or in a way that wasn’t standard practice will the courts consider it malpractice.

Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases

To get a clearer understanding of what might constitute medical malpractice, here are a few examples of situations that are considered viable.

  • A surgeon performs surgery on the wrong patient or the wrong body part.
  •  A doctor prescribes the wrong medicine to a patient or gives him/her the wrong dose.
  • A doctor fails to consider drugs the patient is taking or the patient’s current state of health and prescribes a contraindicated drug, for example, prescribing SSRIs while pregnant.
  • A doctor fails to assess thoroughly a patient and fails to diagnose a disease or misdiagnoses a disease.
  • A physician delays ordering a C-section either because of inattention or failure to recognize the baby’s distress or because the hospital cannot rally a surgical team in time.

Not sure if you have a case? Call Our Medical Malpractice Team Today

Our team at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania is well equipped to assess any medical malpractice case. If you or your loved one suffered harm that you believe was caused by medical negligence, we invite you to call our office for a free consultation. Contact us today at 215-642-2335 to discuss your case.