When we see a doctor or check into a hospital in Pennsylvania, we expect all of our problems to be fixed and our illnesses to go away. However, medical professionals make mistakes on occasion. And when they do that, injury sometimes results.

How do you prove that the doctor violated the required standard of care and is guilty of medical malpractice?

Start with negligence. To prove negligence, the patient must show the following, intertwined factors:

  • A health care provider-patient relationship existed.
  • The provider didn’t meet the required standard of care.
  • The patient was injured.
  • That unmet standard of care is linked to the patient’s injury.

This will require the testimony of another medical professional who is experienced in the same field to describe the required standard of care. An expert must also testify that the standard wasn’t met.

Medical negligence also can occur if a doctor or other medical professional fails to get a patient’s “informed consent,” and the patient is harmed. Informed consent means a patient knows the potential risks, as well as the alternative treatments, before a procedure is done.

Medical malpractice also can result if a patient is injured because a doctor negligently prescribed a medication or misused a medical device. The manufacturer of a drug or device also could be liable if the product injured patients because potential side effects weren’t spelled out.

When medical malpractice occurs, patients can be in worse condition than they were before. There could be long-term harm that results in future doctor visits, high bills or lessened enjoyment of life. Malpractice is tough to prove, but an attorney experienced in the area can review your case and let you know whether it is worthwhile to proceed.