A serious illness resulting from a failed medical procedure or course of treatment is devastating for you or a family member. You may be contemplating a malpractice suit against your doctor. It’s important to have the facts about the differences between medical malpractice and a bad outcome.
A bad medical outcome does not automatically mean that medical malpractice has occurred. Even when a doctor provides exceptional care, the patient’s condition can fail to improve or deteriorate.
When a bad outcome may not be medical malpractice
Unfortunate results can occur despite competent intervention by a doctor. An outcome that negatively impacts a patient is not considered medical malpractice if:
- The patient’s condition worsens
A patient’s condition may unexpectedly decline. Medical malpractice has likely not happened if the doctor has correctly diagnosed and treated the condition with sound, careful decisions
- The patient’s condition is untreatable
Some health problems are not curable. Medical malpractice laws cannot offer a remedy for tragic outcomes such as terminal illness
Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice claim requires a Certificate of Merit submitted by a credible medical professional. The certificate must allege:
- The care, skill or knowledge exercised were less than the required acceptable professional standards, and this conduct caused the injury
- The defendant deviated from an acceptable professional standard
While a bad outcome is not always evidence of medical malpractice, your grieving family wants to seek recourse. Having the medical malpractice facts will help you to protect your family’s rights during a profoundly difficult time.