We all place a lot of faith and trust in doctors. After all, they are trained to heal us, to take care of us, to diagnose and treat us. But health care professionals are human and mistakes are always possible. Medical Malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a doctor or other medical professional results in physical injury, harm or death to a patient.
When something goes wrong, we ask questions. What happened? Why did it happen? What was done and when? Was the diagnosis correct? Could it have been prevented? Unfortunately, the answers are not always forthcoming or are not clear and understandable. You can be sure one of the first calls a doctor or hospital makes is to their insurance’s attorney’s office. This can be the beginning of a long, complicated and overwhelming process. One in which you need to have an attorney on your side with the experience to understand medical terminology and the determination to secure the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Medical Malpractice cases are complicated. Whether it involves a doctor, nurse, psychologist, therapist or another medical professional, there are four areas of negligence that must be established.
Abrogation of duty
An abrogation of a duty owed by a health care provider to the patient. A legal duty exists whenever a patient enters a hospital or healthcare provider for treatment. There was a failure to exercise the degree of care used by reasonably careful practitioners of like qualifications in the same or similar circumstances. This is known as conforming to a relevant standard of care.
For a plaintiff to collect damages in a court of law, the plaintiff’s attorney must show that the provider owed the patient a duty and that the provider’s violation of the standards of care caused the patient’s injury. There must be damages. Without damages, there is no basis for a claim.Damages may include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include financial losses such as lost wages, medical expenses and life care expenses. Non-economic damages are assessed for the injury itself: physical and psychological harm, such as loss of vision, loss of a limb or organ, the reduced enjoyment of life due to a disability or loss of a loved one, severe pain, and emotional distress. Medical Malpractice can occur in a doctor’s office, in the hospital, in a nursing home, on a psychologist’s couch, in a birthing suite, in a lab, in surgery, even in the pharmacy. When it does, it affects your entire family as you try to come to terms with knowing your loved one’s death or disability could have been prevented by proper medical care
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.