A medical malpractice claim arises when a healthcare professional commits medical negligence. Medical negligence occurs when the healthcare professional breaches or violates an applicable standard of medical care that results in an injury to the patient.
What Are The Main Causes That Bring About A Medical Malpractice Claim?
Most commonly a medical malpractice arises from the healthcare provider’s failure to diagnose or treat a medical condition that results in serious injury or death. Some common examples of these are failures to diagnose cancer, heart diseases or strokes in a timely manner.
What Are The Top Misconceptions About Medical Malpractice Claims?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that healthcare professionals, hospitals, insurance companies or any kind of medical association often insist or imply that medical mistakes errors are few and far in between. They also warn that malpractice lawsuits are rampant and mostly frivolous, driving good physicians away. It is simply not true though. The statistics speak for themselves; medical malpractice filings and plaintiff’s verdicts are dramatically declining.
Are Most Medical Malpractice Claims Against Doctors Or Other Healthcare Professionals As Well?
Any licensed medical professional can have a malpractice claim filed against them. So in addition to a physician, that could be a chiropractor, a nurse or anybody else that holds the license with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other state for that matter.
Why Are Medical Malpractice Claims Civil And Not Criminal In Nature?
It is longstanding common law that any kind of a personal injury claim, and that would include the medical malpractice claim, is considered to be a tort and not a crime. Torts fall under the realm of civil litigation. Sometimes improper medical care can result in criminal charges with those circumstances or situations, requiring a certain degree of wrongdoing and sometimes even criminal intent. Some examples of when a medical malpractice claim may also qualify as a crime would be if there is a sexual assault that has been committed by a healthcare professional, or providing medical care while under the influence of an illegal substance or alcohol, or providing medical care in such a reckless manner that it can be construed to be an utter disregard of the health and welfare of the patient.
Are People Generally Hesitant To Bring Medical Malpractice Claims?
Most people are hesitant for a number of reasons to bring about a malpractice claim. Sometimes they are embarrassed by the personal nature of the care in question or the injuries sustained. Sometimes it is also the misconception that the doctor or a healthcare provider will somehow be punished for the claim.
Does A Case Have To Be Extremely Serious For A Malpractice Claim To Be Pursued?
Each firm that handles medical malpractice claims has their own acceptance criteria, but for the most part, I would say yes, these cases are extraordinarily costly and time-consuming to pursue. This must be taken into consideration when accepting a potential case. Juries sitting on those medical malpractice claims also have expectations that the claim is going to be brought only for matters in which there are significant injuries that resulted from the malpractice.
Unfortunately, you have to keep in mind that the practice of law is a business. We have to take cases where we feel that we are going to leave our clients in a satisfactory position after they have been awarded a verdict or where a settlement is reached. At the end of the day, if they are not, it does not make for good business for us to have an unsatisfied client.
Do Most Medical Malpractice Claims Go To Trial Or Do They Settle?
Some cases do settle before going to trial, but by no means all of them. You must always be prepared to try the medical malpractice case you accept, as there are no guarantees that the case will resolve before going to trial. The key to success is preparedness. Sometimes cases, if warranted, are taken out of the jury system and oftentimes mediated or even arbitrated with some parameters that are agreed to between both parties, but in every case you should treat it as if you are going to trial.
For more information on Medical Malpractice Claims In Pennsylvania, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 569-1212 today.