You never know when an accident might occur. Usually, the first place people turn to is the hospital. We trust medical practitioners with our lives.
Imagine someone, Paul, who was in a car accident where he splintered his right femur. As a result, a rod was put into his leg to assist his movement and help mend his femur.
Paul only had check-ups a few days after his surgery and nothing further. One year later, Paul was laying on a couch watching television and as he stood up, he felt a sharp pain in that same area and could see clearly an object poking out of his leg. With this sharp shooting pain, Paul had to stand in that position for a while before he could grab his phone and call the hospital.
Upon calling, Paul found out that his doctor should have referred him to physical therapy and had the rod removed after he healed. Because of his doctor's negligence, Paul is now facing extreme leg pain, can barely walk (much less work) and he's now worried about the cost of his treatment.
What does Pennsylvania say about medical malpractice?
Pennsylvania's medical malpractice law is described as negligence or improper care, that leads to added discomfort to a patient. These mistakes prove to be the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Since all states have a hand in creating their own statutes, Pennsylvania's medical malpractice law is no different. The state offers patients up to two years to file a claim. This means that once you have discovered your practitioner caused your injury, you have two years from then to file a claim.
It is also important to consider that this statute applies to you if your injury is severe enough to be visible early on.
Following March 2002, Pennsylvania's medical malpractice law added another statute, which states that a person has up to seven years to file a negligent claim after the medical act.
What can you do to move forward?
It is not easy to deal with medical malpractice situations, especially if they affect your health in an extreme manner. Depending on the situation, these mistakes can affect someone from performing daily activities and require them to miss work. The added stress of the deterioration of physical health and increased financial spending alone can derail a person's life.
Some examples of medical malpractice situations include:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medical negligence
To best prevent yourself from a situation like this, it is important to research and document your symptoms. Don't be afraid to ask questions. While these situations are unfortunate and can happen to anyone, it may help to educate yourself on what Pennsylvania considers medical malpractice.