Medical professionals in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation could face negligence claims from patients. In 2015, 7% of those claims went to trial, but plaintiffs were only successful in 12% of those cases. It is more common for medical malpractice claims to be made against doctors who are male and who are 55 and older. A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis is the most common reason that a patient will pursue a malpractice case.
The basis for a claim may be that an incorrect or delayed diagnosis resulted in improper treatment or no treatment at all. This can make it more likely that a patient will either pass away or experience long-term negative health consequences. Patients must give informed consent before a procedure takes place, which means they know the risks that they face ahead of time. Failure to obtain informed consent may result in a lawsuit if complications arise during or after treatment takes place.
As many as 9,000 people die annually because of medication errors. Errors could include giving a patient the wrong medication or giving a patient the wrong dose. In some cases, drugs are not administered properly after a surgery, which can cause adverse outcomes. Those adverse outcomes could prompt a patient to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Those who are hurt because of a misdiagnosis, a medication error or any other mistake made by a medical professional may have options to hold that person responsible. It may also be possible to hold a hospital, insurance company or other parties liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney may use medical records, comments made by a surgeon or other evidence to show that a plaintiff was injured because of an error that could have been avoided.