When you have been injured, harmed or misdiagnosed in some way by a doctor or other medical professional, then you may have a case for medical malpractice. The reasons for claiming a malpractice suit are varied and can include birth injuries, problems with anesthesia administration, misdiagnosis of an illness and even a failure to diagnose.

In Pennsylvania, you can attempt to prove medical malpractice by knowing what you need to prove in court.

An Existing Relationship with the Doctor

In order to claim a medical malpractice suit against a doctor, you must prove you had an existing relationship with them. This means, you went to this doctor for treatment and something went wrong during the course of that treatment that the doctor themselves is responsible for. Your lawyer can have your medical records obtained unless you have copies yourself of the treatment received.

The Doctor Caused the Injury or Problem

You must be able to prove that the doctor who treated you actually caused the injury or problem themselves. This means, you need to prove that the doctor was negligent in your care. This could mean they missed the real diagnosis which caused the illness to get worse or non-treatable, or it could mean their actions caused an injury to you during treatment. You need to prove that another doctor would not have caused the same injury or problem that the one treating you did.

You may have to prove that what the doctor did wrong caused specific damages that were not present before treatment. For example, any type of physical pain, additional medical bills, if you lost time at work and if you are suffering from mental anguish due to the treatment.

Statute of Limitations

There is a time frame in which you can claim a medical malpractice suit in the court. In Pennsylvania the statute of limitations is two years. The law states that you may not file beyond seven years of injury date. This timeline begins once you discover the problem or injury. It is advised to contact a lawyer as soon as you are certain an injury or problem occurred.

Compensation for You

When you head to court for a malpractice suit, you are allowed to collect a few types of damages if you win your claim. These include compensatory damages, which pays you the actual costs of medical bills and lost wages due to the injury that was caused. There are also non-economic damages, which are non-tangible costs for pain and suffering; something that you can't put a definitive monetary value on.

Finally, there are punitive damages. They are meant to punish the doctor or other medical professional who caused the damage in the first place. Contact a business, such as McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., for more information.