Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Whether you lost a loved one unexpectedly after he or she received medical help or you were the victim of a surgery gone awry, you want answers. Was the injury or death caused by medical negligence? Can you hold the medical professional(s) or hospital accountable for what happened? Do you have a medical malpractice case?
Our Philadelphia Attorneys Can Help
At MyPhillyLawyer, your needs are our guiding principle. Contact us for a free consultation to speak with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer about your traumatic medical experience and learn whether you have a case for medical malpractice.
The Anatomy of a Med Mal Case: Negligence, Causation, Injury
1. Medical Negligence
The first step in any Pennsylvania medical malpractice case is to determine whether a medical professional acted negligently. In fact, due to Pennsylvania tort reform, you must prove negligence before your case can move forward.
To prove doctor negligence, we work with investigators and medical experts to determine what happened and how it happened. We build evidence to show that the doctor deviated from the standard of care required by his or her profession.
Next, we must determine whether the doctor’s negligence caused the injury or death. In some cases, causation is obvious because the medical error could only have resulted from negligence (such as leaving a sponge inside a patient’s body). In other cases, a doctor’s negligence may not be directly related to the injury. For example, perhaps someone else, such as a nurse, intervened and his or her actions caused the injury.
Causation can usually be determined through thorough investigation and expert testimony.
Proving that an injury occurred for medical malpractice purposes should be simple, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t as black-and-white as showing that you or a loved one experienced an injury during medical care. You must be able to show that you would not have been injured but for the doctor’s negligence.
If, for example, a loved one died after a doctor failed to diagnose breast cancer, but a diagnosis could not have prevented his or her death, then it may be difficult to hold the doctor accountable for medical malpractice. On the other hand, if the misdiagnosis occurred at a time when interventions could have prevented your loved one’s cancer death, then you may have a medical malpractice case.