When you or a loved one experience health problems, it can profoundly impact your life. In addition to the physical pain and discomfort, serious health issues are often accompanied by expenses and forced lifestyle changes. In many situations, these effects may be long-term or permanent.

Despite modern medical improvements, these health problems are sometimes simply unavoidable. But other times, they may have been prevented. When your situation was caused by a doctor or healthcare professional’s careless actions, you deserve compensation for what you have lost. A meticulous medical malpractice attorney from Lowenthal & Abrams with experience identifying and proving negligence in Philadelphia medical malpractice cases can help you understand your options and protect and assert your legal rights.

Proving Medical Malpractice

In Philadelphia medical malpractice cases, the patient must prove that their healthcare provider acted negligently. Proving negligence requires the patient to meet three elements: duty, breach, and causation.

Duty of Care

Duty requires the patient to prove that the person who injured them had a legal responsibility to uphold a certain standard in their actions toward the injured person. In other cases, this can be complicated to demonstrate, but it is relatively straightforward for medical malpractice: the injured person needs to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed.

Breach of Care

Breach requires the patient to prove that the healthcare professional’s actions did not meet the applicable standard of care. They must show that the doctor did not use the procedures, knowledge, or skills usually used in the medical community when treating the patient. Proving what is expected in the medical community almost always requires expert testimony from another medical professional. It is not sufficient to show that another doctor would have acted differently. Instead, the patient must demonstrate what a reasonably competent and careful medical professional should have done in the same circumstances and then explain how their doctor’s actions fell below that standard.

Causation of Harm

The patient must prove that the doctor’s failure to meet the relevant standard of care caused the patient’s injuries. Because medicine and the human body are incredibly complicated, the causation element does not require the patient to demonstrate that the doctor’s negligence was the only possible cause of their injuries. Instead, the patient must demonstrate that the doctor’s actions substantially caused their losses or increased their risk of harm.

What Is Comparative Fault?

It is possible for multiple causes to contribute to an injury, and multiple people can be responsible for that injury. In fact, in some medical malpractice cases in Philadelphia, it may happen that the patient’s actions contributed to their condition. For example, if the patient neglected to follow the doctor’s instructions or delayed seeking medical treatment.

However, even if a patient is found to be partially at fault, it will not necessarily prevent their recovery. Title 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7102 provides that an injured person whose actions contributed to their injury may still recover compensation from another person who contributed to it. However, the amount that the injured person may recover will be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault assigned to them. Moreover, the injured person may not recover anything if the amount of fault assigned to them is greater than the amount of fault assigned to the other people responsible for the loss.

Contact a Philadelphia Attorney After Experiencing Medical Malpractice or Negligence

Some health problems are unavoidable. Nevertheless, everyone deserves to have access to competent medical care that maximizes their opportunity to be healthy.

When you or a loved one has received substandard care, a tenacious lawyer from our firm with experience handling negligence in Philadelphia medical malpractice cases can help you receive fair compensation for the harm and loss you experienced. Schedule an initial consultation today to learn more about what options may be available in your situation.


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