Unfortunately, far too many individuals and families suffer the consequences of medical malpractice.
In a suburb of Philadelphia, one such malpractice event resulted in a $32.8 million award for the victim. A baby born in Pottstown, PA was given the award after the actions of two nurses at Phoenixville Hospital were believed to have caused her brain damage. The patient, now suffering from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, sustained this injury when nurses failed to let the doctor know about changes in the baby’s heart rate during the labor process.
Sadly, this young girl and her family are not alone, as birth injuries are a common cause of medical malpractice injuries. You can read more about their story in this Delaware County Daily Times article: http://www.delcotimes.com/general-news/20140122/jury-gives-32m-to-girl-in-chesco-medical-malpractice-case
Malpractice Claim Requirements
The term medical malpractice refers to a situation where a patient sustains harm and injuries from a medical professional who does not perform his or her duties with the proper standard of care. If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, how you react can have a big impact on determining how your case unfolds. Choosing an attorney who is knowledgeable in the field of medical malpractice is critical.
In order to determine whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, you need to understand some of the finer nuances of this law. Your case must both meet the requirements for a claim and be filed in a timely manner.
If your claim is going to be successful, there are several factors that must be present in your case. These include:
- The Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship – The doctor must have been hired to treat you. You can’t pursue a physician who you overheard giving medical advice to someone else, for example.
- The Medical Professional Was Negligent in Some Way – You must be able to demonstrate in court that the physician in question caused you some kind of harm as a result of his or her actions or inaction. The standard is how another doctor would have acted in the same situation. Bear in mind that this does not necessarily refer to situations where you were unhappy with your treatment or outcome.
- The Act of Negligence Must Have Caused the Injury – The standard applied in these situations is whether the injuries caused were most likely caused by the doctor’s negligence.
- The Injuries Caused Specific Damages for the Patient – such as anguish, physical pain, or lost time at work
There are a few different kinds of situations that frequently fit the bill for medical malpractice. These are:
Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosis
The Statute of Limitations
In the aftermath of a serious injury caused by a medical professional’s negligence, you have limited time in which to file a claim against that individual. If you don’t file within the specified time period, you may lose your right to ever file a malpractice claim for those injuries. States set their own laws about the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware is two years. If you are weighing your options when it comes to filing a malpractice claim, it’s in your best interest to set up a consultation with Donaghue & Labrum now. Our expert staff will review and discuss your specific situation and help determine if a malpractice suit applies. Figuring out your options and being clear about your next steps can help you make a decision and move forward with your life, which is what you deserve.