No one seeks medical treatment expecting to be injured by the medical professional they trust the most. However, medical malpractice can happen. Medical malpractice harrisburg pa occurs when a medical professional fails to provide standard care expected by Pennsylvania. Standard care isn’t the best care. Instead, it is defined as medical care that doesn’t cause a patient harm.
Medical Malpractice in Harrisburg Must Include Three Things
To have a medical malpractice case in Harrisburg, an injured patient must have received poor medical care. The medical care must have violated the standard of care. Second, the violation either increased the risk of harm to the patient or was the factual cause of damages. The third thing an injured patient must prove is their extent of damages.
What is Violation of Standard of Care?
Every medical professional has the expertise to provide medical care and exercise caution needed to prevent harm to a patient. For instance, they must stay abreast of the developments in their profession. This is called the standard of care.
To violate the standard of care, the medical professional must do something that went against the standard. For instance, they did something or failed to do something that would have followed procedure. The burden of proving the medical professional violated standard of care is on the injured patient.
What does Factual Cause Mean?
Once an injured patient establishes the standard of care was violated, they must also show the malpractice was the factual cause in the harmful care received. This means the medical malpractice is the actual role in harm to the injured patient. It is the connection between the harm a patient suffered and the medical malpractice.
What is the Increased Risk of Harm?
The medical malpractice may be due to a failure to treat or diagnose an illness. The failure can be impossible to prove whether it was malpractice or another cause. This situation, an injured patient can still file a medical malpractice claim. They must show the medical professional increased the risk of harm by failing to treat or diagnose an illness. This failure increased the chances of the injured patient not recovering or even dying.
Damages in a Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Case
The last element of a medical malpractice claim is proving damages. A patient must suffer expenses related to the substandard treatment. Expenses are tangible such as lost wages and medical bills. They also can be intangible such as pain and suffering, disfigurement and lost of ability.
Certificate of Merit Regarding Filing Medical Malpractice
To protect medical professionals and hospitals from frivolous lawsuits, Pennsylvania requires an injured patient to file a certificate of merit. The certificate of merit must be filed with the medical malpractice lawsuit or shortly after the lawsuit is filed. In the certificate, an expert witness must sign and verify that there is a basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The basis could be medical treatment that was outside the standard of care expected by Pennsylvania law.