What constitutes medical malpractice?

By VSCP LAW

Many people in the Philadelphia area suffer from a medical injury and they wonder, “What constitutes medical malpractice? Do I have a medical malpractice lawsuit?” To answer, it makes sense to first explore the following questions:

WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice is a negligence claim in the context of medicine. This means that if you have been injured because of what a doctor or medical team has done (or has not done), then you might have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. The medical malpractice might have occurred because your doctor gave you a wrong diagnosis or prescribed the wrong medicine. Or maybe the nurses injured you while administering medicine or wound-care. Maybe the hospital did not provide medical staff to address your medical issue in a timely manner. If a doctor, nurse, or any health care professional causes you to suffer an injury related to their treatment of you either by doing something or not doing something, you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit.

HOW DO I FILE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Your first step in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact a Pennsylvania-based medical malpractice attorney. The medical malpractice lawyer will walk you through the necessary steps which will include obtaining your medical records and hiring medical experts to determine whether you have a valid case. The medical malpractice attorney makes all of this as easy as possible for you – you simply have to sign the contingent fee agreement as well as a document that permits the attorney to collect your medical records from your doctors. Your medical malpractice lawyer will then review your records and consult with medical experts to determine if your case can be filed.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE AFTER THE INJURY TO FILE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE SUIT IN PENNSYLVANIA?

The rules in Pennsylvania are that you have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The name for this time restriction is “statute of limitations.” This medical malpractice statute of limitations rule means that you have two years after you knew or should have known that your medical injury was caused by your doctor or healthcare provider. The exception to this two-year rule is for children who are the victims of medical malpractice. For them, the statute of limitations runs two years after they become an adult (ie, two years after their 18th birthday).  

WHAT IS NEEDED IN ORDER TO FILE THE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE COMPLAINT IN PENNSYLVANIA?

In order to prove your medical malpractice claim, your attorney will need to hire an expert. The expert must be in the same field of medicine as the healthcare professional who committed the medical malpractice. For instance, if your injuries occurred during gastrointestinal surgery, your medical malpractice attorney will likely discuss the case with an expert who is a gastrointestinal surgeon. Assuming the expert agrees that a medical error took place and caused your injuries, the expert will prepare a Certificate of Merit Letter. Your Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney will then need to file a Complaint along with the Certificate of Merit in the court. And thus begins your formal lawsuit against the defendants.

If you believe you have suffered a medical injury and would like to explore whether what you experienced constitutes medical malpractice, contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP Law.

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