Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are in a position of inherent trust. In fact, they’re trusted by virtually all of their patients and patients’ loved ones.

Any time someone sustains an injury or has a medical issue that warrants medical treatment, most go to the hospital or urgent care facility for medical attention they might require. While under their care, the patient encounters many different medical specialists. Each one of these individuals owes a duty of care to the patient and when they fail to achieve their duty, you deserve to be compensated.

Although the doctor – patient relationship is one built on trust, there are times when issues arise. These mistakes can lead to further injury, increased risk of harm and/or the condition worsening and it’s important for individuals to understand what this is, how it happens, and ways you can seek help as a victim.

What is Medical Malpractice and What are My Rights?

Medical malpractice and/or medical negligence basically means that there was a breach in the duty of care by doctor or other medical professional and/or facility to the patient. This can occur in many different ways but there are some ways that we see it happen repeatedly. Medical malpractice has become a more common problem than it should, leaving individuals suffering as a result.

Victims of medical malpractice are afforded the right to seek legal action against the responsible parties under Pennsylvania statute. However, there are critical points that need to be proven prior to starting the lawsuit.

  1. The doctor, nurse or healthcare professional had a duty of care to the patient
  2. The duty of care was breached by an act of negligence
  3. The breach led to a mistake by the medical professional
  4. The mistake caused serious harm to the patient

When all of these things are present, it can lead to serious harm for a patient.

What can be considered Medical Malpractice and/or Medical Negligence?

There are a number of actions that can be considered medical malpractice and/or Medical Negligence. Here are some of the most common actions or inactions that may be considered medical malpractice.

1) Wrong Tests Ordered

When someone goes into a hospital with an ailment, the first step once they see a doctor is often to have tests performed. Whether this includes blood work for various conditions or x-rays for injuries, these tests tell the doctors a lot about what could be wrong.
If the doctor misunderstands the condition or is not properly trained, they may order the wrong tests. In some cases, inexperienced technicians may also perform the wrong test if communication isn’t present or if they misinterpret the records.

2) Missed Diagnosis

Missed diagnosis is a serious problem when doctors are either inexperienced or when they don’t pay close enough attention to their patients. The patient may have symptoms that the doctor dismisses, making it so the problem goes untreated. This could result in even further harm to the patient. This may also occur when a doctor or medical facility is too busy, overcrowded or has too many patients to look after.

3) Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor does diagnose a problem, but does so incorrectly. For instance, if the doctor recognizes symptoms of a cold, but a more serious condition displays the same symptoms, misdiagnosis occurs if the doctor dismisses one condition without testing for it.
They may diagnose the cold without considering any of the other conditions with the same symptoms. When this happens, treatment is only provided for one of the conditions. This can lead to the condition worsening creating an increased risk of harm and causing long-term damage.

4) Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are some of the more severe incidents of medical malpractice because it involves a time in which a patient is already vulnerable. This can include operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient, leaving an item in a patient, and more.

Questions to Ask your Doctor, Nurse or Healthcare Provider

There are a number of things patients should know when visiting a hospital, and questions that they want to be sure they are asking in order to ensure the best care possible.

If you feel as though there is something wrong with the diagnosis or tests ordered, be sure to ask your doctor if they are sure about the decision. It’s your health, never be afraid to second guess if you feel something is off. If you’re still uncomfortable with the doctor’s diagnosis you should consult another doctor for a second opinion.

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to order more tests or to look at results again. You can also ask what other conditions have the same symptoms you’re experiencing if you feel something is worse than diagnosed. Your questions can help the doctor decide to perform more tests and look for more issues than initially thought.

Who Is at Fault In Medical Malpractice Cases?

When it comes to legal issues involving medical malpractice, things can get complex because there are a number of people who may be considered responsible. Because making this determination can be so cumbersome, you create an advantage for you and your loved ones when you consult a medical malpractice attorney at O’Malley & Perry Law. There are factors that come into play when there are multiple issues involved in the medical facility.

The parties who may be considered liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit include the hospital, either because it has dangerous policies in an effort to save money, or its healthcare providers because it employs them. Sometimes the hospital is not involved and the healthcare providers, whether nurses, doctors, or technicians, are the ones who cause the injuries.

Having a better understanding of medical malpractice and what can happen is important in protecting yourself and your rights.

What Seeking Legal Action Means for Victims and Their Families

For many, the idea of legal action doesn’t typically cross their mind when dealing with a serious situation such as medical malpractice and/or medical negligence. They’re worried about their own health, the health of their loved ones and sometimes so concerned that they fail to seek representation.
However, it’s critical to know how imperative this is and what it can mean for you as an unfortunate casualty of medical negligence.

First, you should know that medical malpractice cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, they only pay if and when a case is successful and the fee comes out as a percentage of the recovery. In other words, pay nothing unless your attorney’s recover money in your case.

Again, you don’t have to pay your lawyer on an hourly basis. In fact, you don’t pay your lawyer until after a recovery is made my them on behalf of you or your loved ones.

Second, you should know that the compensation you seek can be used to help cover medical expenses arising from the issues you’ve encountered, lost wages if you were unable to work because of the injuries, and more.

Furthermore, taking legal action does more than just help a victim seek compensation.

There is much more to it than just compensation. It’s also about seeking justice from the negligent party and bringing the reckless and outrageous conduct to public view. Far too often, medical professionals and hospitals sweep serious negligence and malpractice issues under the rug because victims don’t take action.

By hiring a medical malpractice attorney from O’Malley & Perry Law, you’re forcing the negligent parties to accept responsibility for their actions. Even better, you’re forcing them to positively change their standards and improve their safety processes. This works to help prevent these issues from happening to others in the future.

This makes a substantial difference. You can protect others from harm. And you can right the wrongs you have experienced as a result of malpractice.

At O’Malley & Perry Law, we recognize how serious medical malpractice issues are and know that medical professionals should be held accountable for their actions. We don’t take these types of cases lightly and we work hard to guide victims through the process.

Our Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys will guide you through every step of process. If you’ve been harmed, you have the right to take legal action and we want to take that action on your behalf because you deserve justice and fair compensation for your injuries.



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