Berks County residents have no doubt seen stories about medical malpractice cases in the news and elsewhere. Maybe it was a big, million-dollar verdict that grabbed the headlines. Maybe a friend, family member or co-worker has been a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. But, what exactly is medical malpractice? How does a plaintiff win a medical malpractice case?
Although the majority of medical professionals in Pennsylvania are highly trained and proficient, they occasionally still make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes result in little harm to the patient, but other times the results can be catastrophic, and even deadly. A physician might negligently fail to diagnose a condition, resulting in harm to the patient. A surgeon might operate on the wrong part of the body, or they might fail to remove a sponge from the surgical cavity. A nurse might administer the wrong dose of medication.
Whenever a doctor or other medical professional deviates from generally accepted standards of practice and a patient is harmed because of it, the doctor or medical professional may be liable for medical malpractice. In order to establish that a defendant was negligent, it may be necessary to provide testimony from an expert witness. If a plaintiff proves in court that a medical professional was negligent, the plaintiff may be eligible to receive compensation from the negligent party.
Bringing a medical malpractice case can be complicated. Paperwork has to be submitted to the court on time and has to contain all the necessary information. Witnesses have to be arranged. Evidence has to be handled properly, and courtroom procedures have to be adhered to.