When you entrust your own health, or a loved one’s, to the care of a medical facility, you assume that they are qualified physicians and staff who are working their hardest to treat your medical condition. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice cases is two years from the discovery of the injury.
Defining hospital or physician negligence
If a patient becomes seriously injured after medical treatment or after undergoing a procedure, several entities might be held responsible for compensating damages and injuries:
- The attending physician: A medical malpractice or personal injury suit can name the attending physicians and medical staff that might have acted negligently, but the case will need to provide evidence that their negligence directly resulted in the patient’s injuries. Proving fault in a medical malpractice case is not as clear-cut unless there is a record of poor decision-making or a history of negligence regarding the medical professional in question.
- The hospital: This covers outpatient clinics and other medical facilities as well. The hospital or facility has a responsibility to verify the credentials of its doctors and staff. If there are other incidents of the same medical staff misdiagnosing patients, botching procedures, or acting in gross error, this may strengthen a case with the right evidence. The hospital could be liable if it was aware of these incidents and did provide measures to secure the safety of its patients. Additionally, the hospital could be vicariously liable, unless the negligent doctor or staff are independent contractors, which would make a claim against the hospital more difficult.
- Pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers: If a company producing drugs for medical use or medical equipment does not disclose the possibility of certain injuries or resultant medical conditions from its products, there could be a liability claim. The primary responsibility of a pharmaceutical company is to the physicians it provides drugs and research to, so if that company successfully discloses necessary information, there may not be a claim available.
Pursuing available compensation
If you’ve been seriously injured due to the negligence of a facility or medical professional, you may have a viable case. You’re going to need compensation to get your life back in order. Those injuries could jeopardize your livelihood and affect you for the rest of your life. A qualified medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you explore the options available to your case.