Medical malpractice occurs when a physician’s treatment of a patient departs from the standard of care imposed by law on all physicians. A simply bad outcome, such as a patient’s less than full recovery or death does not constitute medical malpractice. Malpractice only occurs when a doctor does something which falls below the standard of care when treating a patient, and harm to the patient results. Medical malpractice affects tens of thousands of Americans, with many cases involving death. Among the most common types of medical malpractice claims are misdiagnosis, birth injuries, surgical errors, and failure to diagnose diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
Who Is Responsible For Medical Malpractice
Doctors are not the only ones that face liability for departing from the standard of care owed to a patient. The doctor’s support system may also be liable for medical malpractice; these individuals and entities may include:
- Managed Health Care Providers; and
Types Of Damages That May Be Recovered In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to recover several types of damages from healthcare workers and institutions held liable in court. Compensatory damages are awarded for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic compensatory damages include lost past and future wages and medical expenses. Non-economic compensatory damages include pain and suffering. In addition, punitive damages are sometimes awarded when a physician’s departure from the standard of care is so severe as to constitute wanton or reckless conduct that cannot be reasonably justified.
Reckless and Wanton Medical Malpractice Is Worse Than Negligence
Most departures from medical standards of care constitute medical negligence. However, when the departure is especially egregious, the malpractice is categorized as reckless and wanton. Because of the gravity of the breach of care, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes the category of punitive damages available to malpractice victims.
What To Do If You Or A Loved One Has Been The Victim Of Medical Malpractice In The State Of Pennsylvania
Time is of the essence in filing a claim of medical malpractice, so if you believe you or a loved one have been the victim of treatment departing from the standard of care owed by your physician, it is imperative that you contact Stampone Law immediately. In addition to the urgency imposed on medical malpractice actions by the two-year state statute of limitations, recent changes in Pennsylvania’s laws aimed at protecting health care providers have made malpractice actions more difficult to pursue than in the past. Because of these laws and complexity inherent in a medical malpractice suit, it is critical that you are represented by a skilled and experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney. Call Stampone Law. We will be happy to have your medical matter reviewed by a competent medical expert to determine if you have a meritorious claim.