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    Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims in Philadelphia

    When talking about this topic, an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer always says that medical malpractice is the worst breach of trust. People go to doctors because they are in pain or ill. They hope to get better. Instead, through a healthcare professional’s negligence, patients end up with even more pain and more severe injuries. This is why the law recognizes the right to file a medical malpractice claim.

    In this article, we will explain how the concept of malpractice is defined by law and the key elements of a valid claim. Let us start with the basics.

    What Exactly Is Medical Malpractice?

    Many people are confused about what represents medical malpractice. For example, they feel unhappy with a doctor’s bedside manner and wonder: do I have a case?

    The reality is that medical malpractice does not deal with how patients feel they were treated by a healthcare professional. It is a legal concept defined as the breach of the standard of care which any trained medical professional owes to their patients.

    Malpractice does not have to do with the lack of exceptional skills and great communication with patients. It has to do with any act or omission which a properly trained and licensed doctor or nurse would not commit in their regular duties while treating a patient. For instance, the act of forgetting a medical instrument inside the patient’s body at the end of a surgery represents an instance of malpractice.

    The Four Elements of a Valid Medical Malpractice Claim

    Medical malpractice is, at its core, an instance of personal injury involving a healthcare professional. A patient who wishes to file a claim for compensation has the burden of proof required by tort law.

    The patient must prove that:

    1. A Formal Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed

    In any personal injury claim, the first element is proving the existence of a duty of care. In medical malpractice cases, this means proving that the patient was under the doctor’s care.

    To prove this, you need to collect all the medical records showing that:

    • You had duly recorded appointments with the doctor
    • The doctor diagnosed or treated your condition
    • The doctor issued prescriptions for medications
    • The doctor performed surgery or other medical procedures on you

    These documents establish without a doubt that the doctor owed you a standard of care as you were their patient.

    medical negligence gives you the right to file a claim for damages

    2. The Healthcare Professional Acted in a Negligent Manner

    When you consult with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer on a medical malpractice case, the first thing the attorney does if they accept your case is gathering evidence of the doctor’s negligence. This can be proven in several ways:

    • They prescribed you a medication without checking that it must not be taken with other drugs you were taken
    • They were under the influence of alcohol when they performed a surgery
    • They did not follow standard protocol in responding to an emergency
    • They ignored your symptoms and failed to diagnose a potentially fatal condition

    3. You Suffered Injuries Due to the Doctor’s Negligence

    Next, you have to prove that the doctor’s negligent actions caused new injuries or illness. The most common injuries associated with medical malpractice are:

    • Prescription errors causing allergic reactions or powerful negative side effects
    • Punctured or severed arteries, nerves or internal organs
    • Surgery on the wrong patient or the wrong site in the body
    • Cerebral palsy due to errors during labor and delivery
    • Cardiac catheterization
    • Bodily injury caused by defective medical equipment

    An experienced lawyer will often hire expert witnesses in order to prove that your current condition is a direct result of the doctor’s negligent actions or omissions.

    4. The Injuries Resulted in Economic Damages

    Last but not least, you must prove that you incurred expenses and financial losses as a result of the doctor’s negligent actions. These are the economic damages and usually consist of:

    • Hospital bills
    • Cost with surgery, treatments, medical check-ups and prescription medication
    • Lost wages
    • Physical therapy
    • Loss of earning capacity, if the injuries prevent you from returning to work

    Let an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Help You!

    Filing a medical malpractice claim is extremely difficult on your own. Hospitals and clinics often protect a negligent doctor in order to salvage their reputation and hire large law firms to represent them. However, with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer by your side, you can level the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.

    Reach out to us as soon as possible after you suffered due to malpractice and schedule a free case review at 267-314-8024!

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